Feb 012011
 
Plum Rum Nutty Conserve @ Common Sense Homesteading

I had a large (two gallon) bag of plums rolling around in my freezer from last summer (thanks to my neighbor).  I used part of it to make Plum Preserves with Honey and Cardamom, and some in a plum crumble, but there were still quite a few plums left.  While my friend, Julie, was visiting last week, I decided to whip up a couple of batches of a plum conserve recipe that she really likes.

I found this recipe for Plum Rum Nutty Conserve in the booklet Gifts from the Harvest, which also has the recipes for Strawberry Banana jam, Strawberry Rhubarb jam and a number of other unusual combinations.  It is a traditional jam recipe (not low in sugar), but very tasty.  Enjoy in moderation.  :-)

Plum Rum Nutty Conserve

4 cups prepared fruit (about 2 pounds fully ripe plums)
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (I used crispy walnuts)
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel (preferably organic)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
6 cups sugar
1 box fruit pectin
½ teaspoon butter
1/2 cup dark rum

Pit plums; do not peel.  Grind or finely chop.  Measure 5 cups into a 6- or 8- quart saucepot. Stir in walnuts, lemon peel and juice.

Prepare jars (wash, inspect rims, sterilize in boiling water or dishwasher). Keep lids hot until ready to fill jars.

Measure sugar into separate bowl. Stir fruit pectin into fruit in saucepot. Add butter. Bring mixture to full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in all sugar. Return to full rolling roil and boil exactly one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.  Gently stir in rum.  Skim off any foam with a metal spoon.  (I usually skip skimming, unless I’m processing for the county fair.)

Ladle quickly into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tope. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Invert jars 5 minutes, then turn upright, or follow water bath method recommended by the USDA. After jars are cool, check seals.

Makes about 8 (1 cup) jars.

Plum Rum Nutty Conserve

My batches made seven jars each this time around, probably because the plums were frozen.

The Live in the Now website has some interesting tidbits of information on plums:

Like most fruits, plums are good for you and the health benefits of plums are worth your attention. They are a good source of unique phytonutrients called neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acid. These substances are especially effective in neutralizing a particularly destructive oxygen radical called superoxide anion radical, and they also help prevent oxygen-based damage to fats, such as the fats that comprise a substantial portion of our brain cells or neurons, the cholesterol and triglycerides circulating in our bloodstream, or the fats that make up our cell membranes.

The other health benefits of plums can be attributed to their excellent nutritional profile. Plums are good source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and lutein and zeaxanthin, pigments that help protect your vision. Eating three or more servings of fruit a day can lower by about one-third your risk of age-related macular degeneration, the primary cause of vision loss in older adults.

As I said, this is a “treat”  or gift type item, but the flavors are lovely together.  I passed the recipe along to the friend with the plum trees.  For an alternative that’s lower in sugar, do try the plum preserves with honey and cardamom.  The recipe book suggests it as a topping for ice cream or cheesecake, but I like it on toast with butter or nut butter, or mixed into yogurt.

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  15 Responses to “Plum Rum Nutty Conserve”

  1. Oh Laurie!! This is RUMMY YUMMY sounding.
    And….I miss Facebooking with you!!

  2. P.S. I am on Heal Thyself. I friended you on it if you haven't seen that yet. And am in some of the same groups your in – that is how I found you there.

  3. Pamela, I miss seeing you on FB, too! I'm not on Heal thyself as often as I would like (TONS of great info there). Between trying to keep my blog up to date, posting on LWM and FB, I'm already spending too much time online some days. I'll try to stop in to Heal Thyself soon.

  4. Checking back in here. LWM I had not heard of before. Found your link on the side and am at it now. Looks great and what I have read so far, definitely is right up my ally!
    I am activated once again on FB, though I am not posting on it yet…so don't post on mine yet either. I am going to be deleting various locals whom I have gotten so totally disenchanted with for the drivel they post all the time, nothing concrete or worth engaging in and easy to get caught in. Soat some point I will get my blogs FB back up and FB book for me will probably strictly blog and a little personal. Till then..I am on here and praying my computer doesn't burn before a new used arrives of which my son is working on. I have nearly everything backed up to safe all files to transfer to new when I get it.
    Keep warm and cozy. We got plowed out this morning. About 10 inches snow, but the drifting was a killer and wind chill is a doozy now. Chickens are staying warm locked up in the coop with the 2 brooder lights still cranking out btu's for them.

  5. If you're on FB and are basically getting spammed by people in your newsfeed, you can block their feed by clicking in the right hand corner of their post. A drop down menu should show up. I've had to do this with some folks because I was overwhelmed by constant chatter but didn't want to unfriend them.

    I think we got close to two feet of snow. Haven't seen recent official totals. Drifts are around eight feet tall behind the house.

  6. The Plum Conserve looks yummy. I planted 2 plum trees last winter along with a few others. It is time to trim them now and I look forward to fresh plums in a few years. Emily

  7. I'm blessed with plum sharing neighbors. I tried to transplant a start from one of their trees, but it didn't take. It's so mice when your own home plantings finally come into production. :-)

  8. Laurie, you continue to amaze me with your great recipes and resourcefulness. It looks delicious. Thanks for sharing. ;-)

  9. We used to have lots of plums when I grew up in Sweden. This recipe sounds delicious.

  10. Jasmine – you're a sweetheart. It is very yummy. I love the little recipe booklet that this came from – it's full of unique combos. I really enjoy trying new things, but I'm not much of a shopper, so quite frequently there's an experiment or two going on in the kitchen. I recently made a raspberry hibiscus kombucha which was lovely, but I didn't write down exactly how much of what I put in the bottle – whoops! Now I have to try again until I recreate it.

    Hugs to you and the family.

  11. Jo – my mom had plums like this when I was little, and we never did much with them. I think if we had had this recipe we would have used many more of them. :-)

  12. Do you have to use white sugar in this recipe? Could I use Evaporated Cane Juice or even honey? Mikki

  13. Mikki – I think evaporated cane sugar would work well with the flavor profile in the conserve. Honey would probably work, too, but would give a softer set. I would try first at the same proportions as the current recipe. If you have a low sugar pectin like Pamona's you could follow their suggestions for reducing the sugar in the recipe.

    For a plum preserve recipe that's sweetened with honey, try this one with honey and cardamom: http://commonsensehomesteading.blogspot.com/2010/09/plum-preserves-with-honey-and-cardamom.html

  14. about the walnuts can you use Black walnuts seeds and how do you get off the green outer soft hull.
    Dave at eaglechiro@yahoo.com or David ahrend on facebook

  15. Here's a post about processing black walnuts: http://tomclothier.hort.net/page21.html

    If you got them, you could certainly use them, they're just a lot of work.

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