Canning Peach and Wild Plum Jam
I wish this photo would accurately show the color of the jam, a brilliant shade comparable to the beets you see in the background. Every morning when the sun rays shone on the canned goods this jam stood out as a true beauty-- slightly translucent with floating bits of fruit matter.
But what really makes this jam special is the origin of the fruit, wild plums that my grandparents picked from the old plum bushes at the farm. Those bushes have stood along the canal bank longer than I've been alive, surviving unintended attacks from farm machinery and wild attempts at pruning back the masses. I have fond memories of riding my bike to grandma's house via the canal road and stopping to pick a plum on the way to 4-H Cooking Class. The peaches were a great deal picked up in Willard, UT on the drive home. Memories. Some days when I was going to school in Brigham City I would drive up to the fruit stands just to grab a peach and call it lunch.
Using instructions from the yellow box of pectin, we followed/created a recipe based on the recommendations for peach jam and plum jam. Plopped in the middle, and because we were doing a double batch of the fruit preserves, we simply used the amount of measured fruit and sugar called for in each recipe and combined the two in one big pot. Easy!
It's delicious. Try putting a scoop atop a bacon-wrapped jalapeno popper. Holy food, that's what it is. And did I mentioned we ended up with 21 half pints? Wow.
PS. If you are canning plum jam alone (wild or cultivated, regardless) there are simple recipes that don't call for added pectin because the fruit skins contain enough natural pectin that, if cooked long enough, will create a nice jelled set.. I'm happy with the way my last batch of plum jam turned out and no pectin was used.