Bottled & frozen plums
The easiest way to freeze plums and prunes is whole, unsweetened, simply
washed and pitted. If they're very large, you may prefer to quarter
them. Pack them into freezer bags or cartons, seal, date, label, and
freeze. That's all. Be sure to buy/use freestone plums. Not only will
they save time in pitting, but they also make a more attractive fruit.
For a syrup pack: Make a syrup with 1 cup of sugar to 1 1/4 cups of
water. Wash, pit, and pack plums or prunes into freezer cartons and pour
syrup over fruit. Seal, date, label and freeze.
Plums can be bottled whole or can be halved if they are a free stone
variety. Wipe off any bloom and prick the skin in various places to
ensure that it doesn't split. Remove the stalks, rinse if necessary.
Prepare halved plums immediately before processing as the flesh tends to
discolour quickly. Some of the stones can be cracked and the kernels
removed, blanched and added to the jars before processing.
Most fruit can also be made into a pulp or puree before processing if
liked. All the bad parts must be removed from the fruit and it can be
halved or sliced. Place the fruit in a saucepan with just enough water
to prevent it from burning; do not sweeten the fruit. Cover the pan and
stew until tender-this will be anything from 15 minutes for soft fruit
to 2 hours for cooking pears. The pulp can be sieved to make a puree and
to remove any pips (seeds) from soft fruit. Return the puree to a
saucepan and brought to the boil again before being poured into the
With the exception of tomatoes, most fruit can be satisfactorily bottled
in syrup. Plain water can be used but the colour and flavour of the
fruit deteriorate rapidly. Pack the fruit tightly so the fruit doesn't
rise to the surface.
Syrup: 8 oz. (1 cup) white sugar or glucose or corn syrup to 1 pint (2
1/2 cups) water. Adjust the syrup according to your taste. Honey and
maple syrup can be used but only with the stronger flavoured fruit.
Place the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring
until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for 1 minute. The syrup should be
clear. For additional flavors, add liqueur, stirring in 1/4 pint (5/8
cup) liqueur to each pint (2 1/2 cups) syrup. Match the fruit with the
liqueur, such as Grand Marnier with citrus, Kirsch or Marascino for
cherries and plums. Unflavored brandy is suitable for most fruits.
Different fruit takes different timing in the boiling bath or in the
oven. For plums: for slow bottling, heat to 180:F and maintain this
temperature for 15 minutes; for quick bottling, maintain at simmering
190:F for 20 minutes; for the pressure cooker, maintain at 5lb for 3-4
In the oven: for a slow oven (250:F), pack the jars with fruit but don't
add the liquid. Cover the jars with lids but do not seal. When up to 4
one-lb jars are being processed heat for 55-70 minutes; when 5-10
one-pound jars are being processed heat for 75-90 minutes. Once
processed, remove carefully one by one and immediately fill to the brim
with boiling syrup. Dip the sealing rings in boiling water and place on
the neck. In a moderate oven (300:), pack the jars with fruit and pour
in enough syrup to cover the fruit cut one inch from top. Cover the jars
but do not seal. When up to 4 one-lb jars are being processed heat for
40-70 minutes; when 5-10 one-pound jars are being processed heat for
55-70 minutes. Remove the jars and seal immediately.
Bonnie Zone 7/7 ETN
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