The Sweet Preservation website is Washington State Fruit Commission’s blog dedicated to the art of preserving fruit, and really is chock full of useful information. This fun and flattering assignment certainly bore some fruitful results (pun totally intended!).
Even before my box of stone fruit arrived, I was studiously reviewing the Sweet Preservation website, as well as perusing two new canning cookbooks I had recently acquired. The first, an updated Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, edited by Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine, discovered when I was out shopping with my mother, provided me with a Pickled Plum Recipe; the second was Jams, Jellies and Marmalades by Linda Arendt which Paul gave me as a gift; a wonderful primer or creative stimulus depending on your level of experience, for preserving, obviously, jams, jellies and marmalades.
I wasn’t exactly sure what quantities or kinds of fruit I would be receiving, all I was sure of was that it would be stone fruits from Washington State. I assumed peaches, which I was all ready to transform into a Peach Jam, one of my personal favorites, and hoped for plums as I had been wanting to try an old fashioned Pickled Plum.
Here is a Pickled Plum recipe from 1922:
Take 5 lb. ripe plums, 1 quart vinegar, 1 lb. sugar, 1 cupful of treacle, 2 oz. cloves, 3 chillies; wipe and prick the plums carefully with a fork, and place in earthenware jars.
Boil all ingredients for a quarter of an hour.
Pour the boiling liquid over the plums, and cover them at once.
Do not attempt to use them for one week, when their condition will be excellent.
Pickled Plums are traditionally served as an accomaniment to grilled pork, ham, or a cold roast beef platter. The leftover syrup can be used as a basting sauce for spareribs or a home made barbeque sauce.
Not only did I receive fragrant peaches, and pretty little purple Italian plums, but big, bright nectarines as well. So without further adieu, I present to you the first recipe from my fabulous stone-fruit-sweet-preservation canning spree.
If you haven’t preserved fruit before, or would simply like to review safe canning practices visit Sweet Preservations’ link, Preservation 101. You can also review safe canning practices for using a Hot Water Bath here.
|Peaches, Nectarines and Italian Plums from Starr Ranch Growers, Wenatchee, Washington.|
2 1/2 to 3 lbs Italian Plums
Wash the plums and prick each plum 6 times with a toothpick.
Pour syrup over plums leaving 1/2 inch of head space. Tap jars to remove air bubbles. Wipe the off rim, seal with hot sterilized lids.
TIP: Fill each jar with syrup a little at a time. If short, add a bit more cider vinegar to baking dish and warm slightly over stove top. Add to jars.
Makes 4 pints or 2 quarts.