Plum Conserve

A “conserve” is a jam made with a mixture of fruit, usually including some citrus, and often nuts and raisins. It can be served as a topping over pound cake, ice cream, or along side meat such as pork or chicken, or just on its own. This delicious recipe comes from a Simply Recipes reader, Lou Grubaugh, who shares her favorite old family recipe for plum conserve. We didn’t quite have the 3 pounds of tart plums that the recipe called for, so I substituted a few not-quite-ripe pluots, and some perfectly ripe plums too. For plums I used a combination of Santa Rosas (tart when not perfectly ripe) and Satsumas. Do you have a special plum recipe? See our post on plums and add your favorite to the comments of that post.

Ingredients

  • 7 cups seeded, chopped tart plums (about 3 pounds)
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 navel orange, thinly sliced, including rind
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced, including rind, seeds removed
  • 3 1/2 cups raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Special Equipment needed:
6 pint-sized mason jars
1 large 6 to 8-quart sized pan (Stainless steel or copper with stainless steel lining, not aluminum which will leach)
A ladle or pour cup for transferring the conserve from the pan to the jars
A jar lifter - useful but not necessary

Method

1 Prepare jars for canning in any of the following ways. You can run them through a short cycle on your dishwasher. You can place them in a large pot (12 quart) of water on top of a steaming rack (so they don't touch the bottom of the pan), and bring the water to a boil for 10 minutes. Or you can rinse out the jars, dry them, and place them, without lids, in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes.

2 Put plums, sugar, orange, lemon, and raisins into a large 6 or 8-quart pan. Heat until boiling. Gently boil for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the mixture starts to thicken slightly. Stir in walnuts.

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3 Carefully ladle the conserve into the jars, one at a time, leaving 1/4 inch head space at the top of the jars for a vacuum seal. Wipe the rim clean with a clean, wet paper towel. Place the lid on the jar, securing with a jar ring. Work quickly. Allow the jars to sit overnight. You will hear them make a popping sound as a vacuum seal is created.

Makes 5-6 pints.

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