Monday, June 11, 2012

Cherry plum jam making

Once again, I looked up this weekend and noticed another fruit was ready to be harvested. There's a cherry plum tree that hangs over our yard with plenty of fruit to share. When we first bought the house, we had an arborist come by who pointed out the 'canning' plums and sure enough, when I saw A Sonoma Garden's recent post on past Junes, there was a recipe.

I found very few other recipes for cherry plum jam online. I decided it kind of something you made up as you went along, depending on which variety of cherry plum you have. I started with 5 pounds of fruit which I threw into the pot along with 1 cup of water. I boiled and simmered those for about 15 minutes until the pits separated from the fruit. I then pushed the contents through a fine mesh sieve which left about 3 pints of juice behind.

I added 1 1/2 cups of sugar to the pot but upped it to 3 cups as it was tasting too tart for my liking. I simmered this mix for just over an hour and was left with a little over 8 - 5.4 ounce jars of jam. These should hold my friends over for a year. It's a nice sweet-tart jam with a beautiful bright red hue. Next weekend I'll be making more as only half the fruits were ready this weekend.

Speaking of plums, there are Italian plums growing rapidly in the garden this week. I love the bluish color and oval shape of these.

The green and purple podded beans are clamoring up their supports.

And lots and lots of harvesting other veggies this weekend, including the last of the English peas. We're having a heat wave this week so who knows if they'll last. My daughter set up a nice sunny spot on the kitchen floor. She probably ate half of the peas she shelled.

Here's the rest of the harvest this weekend, including just a smidgen of lavender from the one large bush we have. It's the bee's favorite spot in the yard so I'll leave the rest for them to enjoy.

English peas, beets (beet greens are the best), lettuce, oregano, chard and strawberries.
Next year, I would love to have much more lavender growing. It's gopher and drought
resistent, two things that my garden have plenty of.
Basil, summer savory, german chamomile, mints and red shiso.


  1. kathryn! oh my goodness, i'm in love! and i will say that our cherry pitter was worth every penny. it's a hand-held metal model that does the trick. we also added vanilla bean to our plum jam and that was a lovely sweetener. yum! can't wait to see your garden in person someday. xoxo, k.

  2. Kathryn, this is Sarah from Seattle who interviewed you a while back. I found my way here, some other gardening blog, I think? And your garden reports are just lovely. I can practically taste that jam!

  3. Thanks Sarah and Katrina! @Sarah, I'm working on pulling food into my next series .. industrial agriculture. Stay tuned!