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.

Plum Conserve Recipe

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.

plum-conserve-1.jpg plum-conserve-2.jpg

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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8 Comments

  1. Liza Caldwell

    Fabulous my family loves it and so do I, very easy to make

  2. Susan from Food Blogga

    I made a similar conserve with fresh cranberries just after Thanksgiving last year and loved it. The thought of making one with tart plums such as pluots sounds splendid. Thanks to you and Lou for the idea.

  3. chigiy

    Yipee, another recipe for all those gazillions of plums that come our way every year. We love them and eat them like crazy. But sometimes we suffer from plum build up, so it’s great to have another recipe.
    xox

  4. Lumei

    I love plums. But they are really expensive in Japan. If I have many plums, I could make a similar conserve and tried to put it in a bread recipe or just put on ice cream. Yum!

  5. Gira

    I am wondering how well this recipe might work with some Chambord or zinfandel added. Looks positively delightful and like something that could be a very welcome easy and inexpensive gift for the holidays. :)

  6. jo

    It looks delicious!!! I hope I can try it soon. I just gathered wild walnuts as well, too bad our plums had a rough spring this year..oh well, I will buy some lovely organic ones to use instead. I think this would taste really good in winter with baked bread.
    I also wanted to tell you just how much I ADORE your site. Always inspiring. I love how you include stories, beautiful pictures and of course the tips. I wasn’t really taught how to cook, so certain things considered “obvious” to some are absolutely foriegn to my head. Heavy emphasis on the “beautiful pictures” bit. ;)

  7. Mansi

    This looks great, and perfect for using the plums in my kitchen!:)

  8. Stephanie

    I have been enjoying your site for a while now. Thank you! I had a question on the Plum Conserve. I just finished making it for the first time. The taste testing was delicious. I just wondered if you leave the citrus slices in when you serve it? Also, how do you most often serve it? I even thought it would be nice over a baked brie. Thank you from someone who is glad there are smarter people than her out there! :)

    Hi Stephanie, yes I leave everything in it, including the citrus slices. I think it is delicious with pork chops. ~Elise

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