Homemade plum jelly is a delicious treat. It's very easy to make at home, and is a lot more special than store-bought strawberry jam. Wrapping your taste bounds around a bite of plum jelly is an unexpected and pleasant surprise at the breakfast table. It's so good that others will beg for your recipe.
- 3 pounds of ripe plums
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 7 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 package commercial pectin
- Large, non-aluminum pot with lid
- 4 to 6 Pint canning jars and lids
How to make plum jelly:
Cut the plums. Cut each plum fruit into eighths, and discard the pits. Make sure they are fully ripe, or they will not cook correctly.
Sterilizing the jars. Place the jars and lids into boiling water for 10 minutes. When done, leave in the simmering water as you prepare the plum jelly.
Cook the plums. Place the plum slices, water, and lemon juice in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir occasionally until the fruit is soft. You should end up with about 4 1/2 cups of syrup. You may want to pour it through a sieve or strainer get a smoother texture, but this is not necessary.
Add sugar. Now, stir in the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to help the sugar dissolve. Once it has dissolved, add the pectin. Continue to stir and boil for a minute, and then remove from the heat. Let the mixture rest for a minute, and then skim off any foam on the top. This is an important step of the plum recipe.
Canning the jelly. Carefully remove the jars and lids from the simmering water. Pour even amounts of the jelly into each jar, leaving 1/4" to 1/8" of space at the top of each rim. Wipe the rims to ensure a good seal, and screw on the lids. Then, place in boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes so that the jars will seal. Jelly recipes require the lids to be on securely.
Storage and serving. Remove the jars from the boiling water and let sit for several hours without disturbing them. Be careful when removing them, as they will be quite hot. Special jar-holding tongs made for canning come in handy for this task. Once the jars have sat undisturbed for an hour, check the seals. As long as the lids do not pop up when you press down in the center, they have sealed correctly and you can store them on a shelf that is cool and dry for up to a year. One or two may not seal correctly; store these jars in the refrigerator and use the jelly soon.
Plum jelly is a delicious treat for bread, crackers, or toast. You can also use it to top pancakes or waffles. Easy to make, it is also an impressive gift. People who receive homemade gifts like these always seem to want a copy of the recipes so they can make the treat for themselves.