Summertime is the perfect time to preserve seasonal fruit. You don’t have to be a pro at canning or preserving to make a batch of homemade preserves to either freeze for a future date, or store in your refrigerator to spoon on top of toast, ice cream, or enjoy over your favorite cheese. Preserving stone fruit, berries or tomatoes is something I highly encourage this time of the year, and you can ask your local farmer at a nearby market if they would sell you a case for a discount, especially if it’s towards the end of market hours. Many farmers don’t want to drag their freshly picked produce back home to their farm.
Most summers I do spend a few days in my kitchen preserving nature’s gifts. There’s something therapeutic about slicing fruit and watching it boil down in it’s own juices as it thickens gracefully in a short amount of time. Preserving jars have come along way. The plastic freezer jars are the best solution to easy preserving because you don’t need to boil them in water, and wait for the lids to pop. You can spoon the preserves directly into the jars and store them in the freezer, instead of the pantry with such ease.
I remember watching my mom make strawberry jam as a kid in the kitchen and every time I go to preserve my own jam, I think of her. I always loved the intense fruity smell wafting from the pot she was stirring, and with this recipe for plum jam, a similar aroma rises up in the air. I added a stock of lemongrass to the preserves for a hint of citrus, a nice contrast with the plums. If you can’t get your hands on lemongrass, go ahead and shave a few slices of lemon peel into the pot instead. I think you’ll really love the taste of these preserves, sweet and tart all rolled into one. I spooned them over ricotta toasts the other morning, and boy what a great way to start the day.
8-10 plums, any variety
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 stalk lemongrass, cut in half or 2 strips of lemon peel
jars for preserving
(Makes about 3 Cups)
- Slice plums in half and remove seeds. Slice plums into wedges and place in a pot.
- Add sugar, water and lemongrass. Place pot over medium-high heat and cook for approximately 25 minutes, skimming foam off top as needed.
- Remove from heat and let preserves rest in pot for 10 minutes. Remove lemongrass stalk and spoon preserves in jars. When cooled to room temperature, place lids on top and store in refrigerator or freezer. Enjoy!