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Plums are a favorite fruit around these parts and I do all kinds of yummy things with them. Plum jelly. Plum Apple Sauce. Asian Plum Sauce. But one of our favorites is this recipe for Spiced Plums. These are great served room temperature with pound cake or hot as a cobbler or crisp. I image they’d be pretty good with ice cream, too. I’ll have to give that a try soon.
This recipe makes anywhere from 5 – 7 pints depending on the size of your plums and how tightly you pack them in the jar. I usually have a little syrup left over and I’ll can that up along with the jars of plums. Its good mixed into a fruit salad or thickened up for a bread pudding sauce. Or to sweeten oatmeal or even rice pudding. There’s no end to what we have found to do with it. I’m going to try to hide some and add it to my next batch of water kefir.
But I digress. Again. 🙂
Shall we begin?
If you’re new to canning, or want a refresher, please click here for general canning and safety guidelines.
- 4 pounds of plums
- 5 c water, or if you want to get really fancy, 4 cups water and 1 cup Brandy
- 2 c honey
- 2 oranges, juice and zest
- orange zest (optional if you don’t want to zest the ones you have)
- 5 to 7 – 1″ cinnamon sticks (1 per pint jar) (I like to get my organic spices from Starwest Botanicals)
- 15 to 21 cloves (3 per pint jar)
- 5 to 7 pint jars, clean and hot
- 5 to 7 rings and new lids, prepared following manufacturer’s instructions
In a large pot combine water, honey, orange juice, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
While that’s simmering wash and pit the plums. Depending on how big they are, cut them either in half or in quarters. For very small plums you can leave them whole, but prick the skins so they don’t burst during processing.
After the syrup has simmered for 10 minutes, add the plums. Bring the plums and syrup back to a boil, stirring frequently, and remove from heat.
Prepping the jars
To each hot pint jar add 3 cloves and 1 tsp of orange zest. Fish the cinnamon sticks out of the syrup and add one to each jar. I usually start with the 5 jars and add more if needed.
Now add the plums to the jar leaving 1/2″ of headspace. Try to fit them in as tightly as possible without squishing them. Sometimes it feels a little like playing Tetris. Only with food. Hot food. That could, just possibly, burn your fingers.
Next, ladle the hot syrup over the plums, using a canning funnel. The funnel not only helps get the stuff actually inside the jars, but it also helps keep the stuff off of the rims of the jars. Then, remove the air bubbles with your handy dandy little air bubble remover thingy and top off with syrup as needed, again, leaving 1/2″ headspace. Wipe the rim with a clean cloth dipped in vinegar (vinegar cuts through the syrup), seat the lid, and put the rings on finger tight. Fill and close the remaining jars.
Process in a boiling waterbath canner for 20 minutes for pints or quarts.
After processing, allow the jars to cool, undisturbed, 12 to 24 hours. Don’t forget to check the seals before you put the jars away.
What would you eat these beauties with?
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