Friday, June 15, 2012
Tree block and Plum Preserves
After finishing my tree block, I wanted to tackle a 5 gallon bucket of freshly picked plums that a friend of my DH gave us. The real ripe ones were so sweet and delicious, I ate at least a dozen of them before I decided to make some plum preserves with them. Off I went looking for my canning resource--The "Ball Blue Book of Preserving". The recipe was simple, sugar, fruit and water. Can't be too hard, right?? Well, the coarse chopping of the small plums took a bit more time than I thought. I got everything cooking and ready to ladle into the hot jars, then into the boiling water bath; 15 minutes later I took them out of the boiling water to cool and they looked beautiful. After they cooled, they tasted yummy, BUT they were too soft to stay put on a slice of bread; not thick like jam or preserves should be. What did I do wrong??
Not one to give up, I tried another batch and this time I let the fruit mixture cook longer on the stove, at least until it seemed like it would all boil away if I didn't stop and start putting it into the jars. The 2nd batch was thicker, but still not as firm as I think it should be. I still have enough to try another batch, but I think I need some more advice. Both batches taste good, but I'm missing something. The recipe does not call for any Sure Jell or Fruit Pectin, so it should work according to the Ball Book. Has anyone had this happen to you? What did you do to correct it? It does not give any indication as to how long it should boil before you put it in the jars. That would help immensely.