What Is a 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.
A Riff on a Reader Favorite
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.
Naturally tart Santa Rosa plums work best for this conserve, but if you don't have them, a combination of tart plums and pluots will do fine.
Do you have a special plum recipe? See our post on plums and add your favorite to the comments of that post.
Love Jam? So Do We!
Plum Conserve Jam
This recipe comes from Simply Recipes reader Lou Grubaugh.
- 7 cups seeded, chopped tart plums (about 3 pounds)
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 navel orange (including rind), thinly sliced
- 1 lemon, (including rind), seeded and thinly sliced
- 3 1/2 cups raisins
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 5 to 6 pint canning jars
- 5 to 6 new jar lids and rings
- Large (12-quart) pot
- Flat steaming rack
- Jar lifters
Prepare jars for canning:
Prepare your jars for canning. Place them in a large (12-quart) pot of water on top of a steaming rack (so they don't touch the bottom of the pan). The water should cover the tops of the jars by at least 1 inch. Cover, bring the water to a rolling boil, and boil for 10 minutes.
Wash the lids in hot, soapy water.
Meanwhile, start cooking the conserve:
Put the 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.
If you want, use kitchen shears to cut some of the longer citrus rinds.
Stir in walnuts.
Carefully ladle the conserve into the jars:
When the conserve is ready, remove the jars from the pot of water and dump the water in the jars back into the pot. Fill the jars one at a time, leaving 1/4-inch headspace at the top of the jars for a vacuum seal.
Wipe the rims clean with a clean, wet paper towel. Place the lids on the jars, securing with jar rings (do not over-tighten).
Using jar lifters, lower the jars back into the pot, making sure there's enough water to cover by at least 1 inch. Bring to a rolling boil, then boil the jars for 5 minute.
Remove the jars with the jar lifters and set on a clean kitchen towel. Allow the jars to sit overnight. You will hear them make a popping sound as a vacuum seal is created.
The sealed jars will keep in a cool, dark place for at least 1 year. Refrigerate opened jars and use within a few months.