Wild Plums

After participating in the wild plum fermentation class I had to give it a try myself. My younger sister and I marched into the “wilderness” (aka bike path) of Sonoma and found 4 plum trees bursting with fruit.

As you can see from the picture above each plum looked unique. Each tree had its own unique color, texture, and flavor. After filling 3 grocery bags with fruit we headed home to make plum soda and plum jam.

The jury is still out on the soda as its still fermenting and won’t be finished until Thursday, but the jam was/is delicious… though I sort of wish I hadn’t made so much. I don’t eat much jam.

Before the plum jam experiment I had made one other batch of jam, strawberry which turned out okay and had mixed reviews (mostly that it was too watery)

So I browsed through several recipes for plum jam before starting. Recipes included:

http://homecooking.about.com/od/condimentrecipes/r/bljelly11.htm

http://www.epinions.com/content_3377700996

http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1823,137179-232202,00.html

And after reading a half dozen recipes and scratching my head over what to do I decided to wing it.

Below is my process for making plum jam… not this is a process and not necessarily a recipe. I’m terrible with keeping track of measurements!

Wild Plum Jam

Recipe yields approximately 1 cup of jam

Software:

* 2 cups wild plums  rinsed and cut into quarters, pits removed

* 1 1/2 cups Agave nectar

* 1 pat butter

Hardware:

* Saucepan with lid
*  Measuring cup

* Wooden spoon

1.  Gather a variety of wild plum, try to find different colors, tastes, etc try to find plums that are still firm and haven’t completely ripened. Rinse and remove any stems or leaves

2. Cut plums into quarters while removing the pits.  As you cut toss the plums into a measuring cup so you will know when you have enough

3.  Once enough plums have been collected toss them into your saucepan. Cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat while constantly stirring.

4. Add agave and butter to pot and continue to stir for 10 minutes. At this point the pot may start to froth up and boil a lot be careful not to burn yourself! Lower the heat as needed

5. Change your heat to low and cover your saucepan. Let jam simmer for about 20 minutes or until its thickened.

6. Transfer jam from pot to a jar and follow canning directions if you need to.

7. Enjoy your hard work 😛 Ideas for using plum jam? Well so far I’ve spread it on crackers/toast/French toast and made a dessert using yogurt and the plum sauce.

I am of course totally up for suggestions. Please leave some in the comments!

Depending on the success of my plum soda I will post the recipe later this week. I am also trying to make some fruit leather with the plums… not turning out fantastic so far though. I’ll keep you posted 🙂

Other ideas for wild plum use?

Plum Glazed Chicken (and other recipes)

 Plum Liqueur

Apple and Plum Kugle

 Plum Honey

Planning on cooking with wild plums? Let me know what you make in the comments!

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