Saturday, September 20, 2008

Plum Crazy

I'm doing all sorts of wonderful things with the bounty of Italian Plums off our tree in the backyard. The preserves I did last night are the most gorgeous color and they are delicious!! As the plums cook, the beautiful purple of the skins burst into the orange-ish yellow fruit pulp and mix into this pretty and vibrant red. At one point in the cooking, it looks like foamy raspberry and orange sherbet punch! I canned Plum Marmalade with Rum a couple years ago, and it's wonderful. Everyone that I shared it with loved it. It's amazing on crepes, vanilla, ice cream, waffles, or even toast.
Plum Marmalade With Rum (modified from Anne Gardon's recipe in Preserving For All Seasons)

2 pounds of Italian plums (pitted and coarsely chopped)
2 large organic oranges, sliced thin on a mandolin (use your guard!)
1 cup water
3 cups sugar
1 Tbs. vanilla
1/2 cup rum (or 3 tsp. rum extract)

Soak sliced oranges in the water overnight, then dump into pot the next day. Add sugar and plums and bring to a boil. Then, stir occasionally and cook over moderate heat until mixture thickens up. Remove from heat and add vanilla and rum. Seal in hot, sterilized canning jars and store in a cool, dark place. For best results wait at least one month before using.
"End of Summer Custard Pie" (strawberries, plums - from our yard, and blackberries - from our hike), and Plum Upside-Down Cake (3 Tbs butter, 1/4 c. brown sugar melted and poured into the bottom of a greased 9x9 cake pan; add halved plums in rows to fill bottom on pan then pour Jiffy yellow cake mix on top - with cinnamon and vanilla added. Easy. Delish).


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