Tips & Recipes

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.


The end.



Longer version:




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.






My deviation:


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
3 eggs
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

2 lbs plums, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp grated ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 star anise
Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Take out the star anise and discard. Puree the sauce with a stick blender.
Can using the boiling-water method.

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.”) 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.


2 responses to “Tips & Recipes

  1. Hi all – Kristi here.

    I ate a lot of fresh plums, canned the peach plums,and made chutney, fruit leather, as well as Mary Tinka’s fruit slice with the yellow plums.

    With the canned plums, I cold-packed the whole plums in a light syrup. They turned a beautiful colour – the pink blush came out of the fruit and into the syrup, leaving the fruits orange – very pretty! I did have a problem with floating fruit though – the jars only look half full. Maybe because they were so juicy?

    With my chutney, I used a slow-cooker and cooked it for close to 36 hours on low to reduce it to 1/3 of its volume. I probably should have left out some of the juice that came out as I chopped the plums, so I wouldn’t need to cook it for as long, as I feel that it is a bit overcooked for my liking now.

    The fruit slice worked great exactly as written, but I substituted a gluten-free flour mix for the flour since I’m gluten intolerant. Yum! Will definitely be making this again!

    What were your experiences with your first batch of plums?

  2. Hi all,

    I, too, canned some plums in light syrup but had a lot of syrup siphon off and a lot of float. I opened up those jars again and cooked down the plums into a compote and froze some. The syrup became a lovely cocktail mixer! I also made Farmer Al’s special plum jam recipe (wow is it thick!), a cardamom plum jam, asian plum sauce, and froze some chopped plums. I made a coffee cake and put dollops of plum compote in it, and also made a plum clafouti.

    I’m looking for a good canning recipe for plum barbecue sauce, Anyone have one?


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