Use the reply option below to share recipe ideas, and discuss successes, tips and tricks for using up all your delicious Okanagan Fruit!
PLUM JAM RECIPE from Happy Farmer Al of Tinka Orchard
This recipe comes from the Carpathian Mountains of Western Slovakia, where these jams were an important staple for the winter months. It has not been written anywhere I could find. It is passed on from generation to generation by verbal instructions and learned by observation, in spite of its great complexity.
It has been slightly modified by me, to suit the local conditions, available supplies and the life expectancy of the final product.
Here we go:
A short version:
Cook the fruit until thick.
Good fruit (pretty well any plums or cherries, but not apricots or peaches – not enough pectin)
Cooking pot, preferably with thick, well heat conductive bottom – less danger of sticking
Wooden spoon, preferably with flat end – easier to keep the pot bottom clear
If so desired, small quantity of sugar
Let the fruit ripen at room temp, until soft and sweet. Tree ripening preferred
Wash and pit
Put in the pot and slowly bring to boil
Frequent stirring to prevent sticking
Simmer until runny
Continue cooking, on very low heat; very frequent stirring, uncovered to aid evaporation, for up to 2 days
The right consistency is very scientifically determined by the following test: the wooden spoon must stand up in it on its own
Add nothing – no pectin, no preservatives, no colouring, no emulsifiers, no smoothening agents, no flavour enhancing chemicals, nothing.
Because I am not adequately sweet on my own, I add a touch of sugar, depending on the sweetness of the fruit and the desired outcome, but rarely more than 1 cup per gallon, or for you metric types, between 50 and 100 g per litre.
The correct sweetness is equally scientifically determined by taking a sample, letting it cool and tasting it on a piece of dry bread. Add more, if you like it sweeter.
After adding the last sugar, the jam should be brought to a brief boil.
Pour into preheated canning jars, seal, let cool, store in a cool place.
Will live up to 10 years.
Don’t let it burn!!! Will be ruined.
Should you have a really bad luck and it got seriously stuck to the bottom, DO NOT SCAPE IT AND MIX WITH THE REST! Instead empty the pot into another container, crape, wash, scrub, thoroughly clean the bottom, pour it back and continue.
I know, it is a real pain in the …, to stay near the stove for so long and stir and stir. In the last stages it needs stirring every 5 min., on extremely low heat.
But the outcome is worth it.
Particularly suitable for those who like to watch TV plagued with a commercial break every few minutes.
Ready to try it?
Fruit Slice (can use peaches, plums, apricots, cherries, apples – anything you have)
1/4 c butter
3/4 c granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk (or non-dairy substitute)
Cream all of the above together, then in a separate bowl mix
1 3/4c flour
2 tsp baking powder
and add it to the creamed butter mixture. Put it in a 13×9″ dish and top with fruit. Optionally, you can also sprinkle with ground walnuts (delicious!).
Then crumble together:
2 tbsp butter
1/4 c white sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c flour.
Spread over top and bake at 325F for ~1hr. Let cool and then slice into squares. Stuff yourself right there or place into freezer bags and freeze for delicious treat later. Just heat it up in a convection or regular oven.
Plum Sauce, from Put ‘Em Up by Sherri Brooks Vinton
the Pomona’s Pectin web site has a few interesting looking plum jam and jelly recipes (Recipe Card 2 “Special Plum Jam” and Recipe Card 4 “Sour Plum Jelly” and “Sweet Plum Jelly.”) http://www.pomonapectin.com/recipiesanddirec.html. For those who don’t know, this pectin requires far less sugar than traditional pectins – in my experience it makes very fruity jams rather than very sugary jams. It’s available at Donald’s Markets in Vancouver, but probably other places as well.
Other fruit use ideas:
– Wash fruit, slice and de-pit and place in single layer on baking sheets to freeze. Once frozen, can be placed into freezer bags/vacuum sealed. Use for breakfast porridge, baking, etc.
– Make delicious smoothies or home-made popsicles with it!
– If you have dehydrator, make yourself some fruit leather for hikes.