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Wild Southern Hog Plum Jam

Ingredients:

  •  Pulp & juice from 6 quarts wild plums
     
     
  • Juice of ½ lemon
     
     
  • 1 pack (1.75 oz.) of Sure Jell (pectin)
     
     
  • 8 cups sugar
     
     
  • ½ of a “pat” of butter or margarine

Steps:

  1. Pick a bucket (6 quarts) of roadside wild plums (Prunus Americana or the smaller reddish…our locale…Chickasaw plums, Prunus angustifolia), not over-ripe.
  2. Barely cover the stemmed but intact plums with water and cook (careful not to scorch) just until skins split; remove from heat & let cool.
  3. Pour off excess plum-juice/water into a reserve bowl & rinse out the large pot.
  4. If you need to, you can freeze the pulp (#5) and 6 cups of juice (#7) as an initial step until you have time to produce the jam (I’d not delay more than a few weeks).
  5. Using hands, squish pulp from pits and collect pits into a colander or other container with small holes & sweep pits around & around the inside as additional pulp squeezes out through holes & combine with initial pulp..
  6. Take 6 cups of this pulp and return it to the large pot, add the pack of Sure Jell, the juice of ½ lemon, the butter (reduces foam) and stir together.
  7. Return up to 6 cups of the reserved plum-juice/water to the pulp mixture (to thin the mix from a pudding-like thickness to a more watery thickness) and bring to a boil that returns promptly after stirring (a hard boil).
  8. Add sugar & bring back to “hard boil” for a minute. Remove from heat & remove foam.
  9. Ladle into sterile ¼ or ½ pint canning jars, leaving a slim 1/8 inch of head space; wipe rims clean; apply lid & ring. Produces about 18-24 half pints of delicious jam. For extra safety do step #9.
  10. Process in boiling water bath 5 minutes and tighten lids.
  11. For lesser quantities of plums, reduce recipe proportionately.

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(posted 28 June 2005)