Plums are one of those plentiful fruits that grow almost anywhere! As usual the faithful trees of our community offered us a hearty summer’s yield, a plentiful supply of the plump, purple ovals which ripened mid-September. Jams, syrups, preserves, stewed and halved…my cold room is overwhelmed with plum sweets!
Just last week I still had over 30 lbs of ’em sitting in the outdoor canning area and was racking my brain for yet another canning method.
And then…I got an idea: why not try raw-packing whole plums?! I knew how to pit cherries without the proper tool. This task would only be easier with large fruits! I’d spice ’em up for something different.
Different is exactly what I did with the help of my lil’ sis, who was up for visit.
After washing ’em, we each took a wooden spoon from the kitchen. Beginning where the stem attached…
…we’d force the ends of the spoon up and through the plum.
Every time, the seed burst through the other end, leaving a roundish exit hole behind!
From there, we stuffed those deep purple fruits into jars, tight as we could pack ’em!
We made a syrup with water and honey (of course) but also added cloves and cinnamon, along with some vanilla extract. The scent was heavenly! Pouring that liquid over the plums was enough to make me drool. Don’t worry! I didn’t. I know drooling isn’t sanitary when processing food!
We popped quarts into the water-bath canner for 30 minutes (proper time for my elevation). Upon removing jars after they completed their cycle, I was struck by the deepness of color: a lovely wine-purple! I also noticed the plums didn’t compress so much as my plum halves had. Intriguing!
If I have to choose between canning halves or whole plums next season, I’ll choose the latter! Not only does it appeal aesthetically, but I thought pitting went much faster. My sister agreed!
Whole Plums & Spice
- plums to fill 7 quart jars (approx 14-16 lbs)
- 8 C water
- 3/4-1 C honey
- 8-10 cloves
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions: combine syrup ingredients. Bring to boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Pit plums as directed above and tightly pack into jars. Go ahead and press down on the fruits! They will compact when canned and the more you fit per jar, the better. When ready, pour syrup into jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Clean rims and place hot lids down, sealing with metal band. Process and let cool for 24 hrs before storing away.
At just over 2,000 ft in elevation, I had to process quarts for 30 min and pints for 25.