I raw packed a few of the good ones.
And then whipped up a double batch of just plain plum jam using a 2 pounds of fruit to 3 cups of sugar ratio. It turned out pretty good, but I overcooked it a bit and now have a very firm jam. This is clearly a problem for me.
I moved on to some plum sauces. I did an Asian plum sauce based on this recipe from Oregon State University. I swapped the canned chiles for a fresh jalapeno and pasilla chile. The result was a standard plum sauce flavor that I am pleased with and am sure will go nicely with some pork or chicken.
I also decided to test out this chipotle plum sauce recipe. Oh good god is it good! I didn't use the chipotle seasoning that was called for, but instead substituted a freshly grated dried chipotle as that's what I had lying around. I also used regular garlic powder rather than roasted. The overall product is divine with just enough kick to make it interesting. I'm not a huge fan of super spicy so this suited me perfectly. I think I will be enjoying it on a cracker with some cream cheese.
Even after all that, I still had plums leftover. I also had some other stone fruits that were quickly becoming borderline edible. So I whipped up a jam with the mishmash of leftover fruits.
I cut up several apricots, peaches, and nectarines that had seen better days.
I then added a bunch of plum sauce. I don't pit my plums individually, but rather cook them down first, pull out the pits, and run them through a food mill to get rid of the skins. Works for me.
I know this picture looks ugly. The plum puree had oxidized a bit, but the brown color wouldn't affect the finished product with so many fruits.
Next came the cherries. That looks somewhat better.
I weighed out my fruit and then added 3/4 of that weight in sugar. Though many recipes recommend a 1 to 1 ratio, I find that really sweet fruit doesn't need that much sugar.
Next I cooked it down until it reached the jelling point. Again, I carmelized the sugars a bit and the jam turned out more firm than I would care for, but the taste is wonderful. Much like the mixed fruit jams you can buy at the store, but like way way better 'cause I made it myself with more flavorful fruits.
Winging it in jam making can be intimidating when you are first starting out. The key is getting the right ratio of fruit to sugar. So far with my one pound of fruit to 3/4 pound of sugar has served me well. Keep this in mind the next time you want to go out on a limb and experiment with a wacky fruit combo.
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