My parents have had a plum tree in their yard for as long as I can remember. A few years ago it was severely damaged in a storm, but not to worry, they planted another right away. I think they did go one year without plentiful plums in June. The plums ripen like clockwork the second week of June. Over the years we’ve been inventive with what to do with all those plums. We pick as many as we want for eating, we’ve made plum cobblers, plum jam, and always we juice the plums in a 3 tier steam juicer and bottle the juice for plum jelly and plum syrup (which is often given as gifts at Christmas). This year, we decided to be a bit more inventive and searched for a Plum Butter recipe. Mom found a couple and tweaked them to her liking and here’s what we came up with.
A friend who hails from England came by to pick some of the remaining plums and mom gave her a taste of the Plum Butter. She said “It tastes like Christmas.” They decided it would taste just fab on toast, English Muffins or a Scone. I think it would be delish on pancakes, or what we call German Pancakes (click for recipe). It would also be a nice complement to a pork roast or chops.
- 4 lbs ripe plums
- 3 cups sugar
- zest and juice of one lemon - preferably Meyer Lemon
- 1 tsp cinnamon (I prefer Saigon cinnamon)
- 1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise (a must)
- 1/2 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- Place 2 small plates in the freezer for testing doneness later.
- Pit and cut plums into quarters - do not peel.
- Zest and juice the lemon and add to plums in a large heavy bottomed, non-reactive pot.
- Add all the remaining ingredients to plums, stirring and bringing to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook fruit until very tender, about 15 minutes.
- Remove and discard the vanilla bean. Ladle about 1/3 of the plum mixture into food processor, and pulse until pureed, but not too much. I like to leave a few very small chunks of plum flesh visible. Continue to puree remaining plums in 2 more batches. Reserve the pureed plums in a separate bowl until all the plum mixture has been pureed. Now return all the pureed plums to the pot and heat over low for about 2 hours, stirring often to prevent sticking. The plum mixture will reduce as is slowly simmers and become thick.
- Use the frozen plates to test for doneness by spooning a little plum butter on the plate and tilting the plate. Butter should do a slow slide off the plate, rather than quickly running off.
- Remove butter from heat and carefully ladle into sterilized 8 oz, 12oz or pint jars. Leave 1/4" headspace and place lids and rings on jars. (I used 12 oz jars and got 5 full jars of plum butter)
- Process in water bath ( I use a steam canner) for 15 min using standard canning procedures.
- Let sit for a couple days til set, and store in cool dry location.