Plum Honey Preserves

gold plum treeI’ve thought a lot about leaving the sugar out of a jam recipe and experimenting with honey. Here’s my first try! I’m pleased with the results and think you might be too. These preserves have a much lighter, less potent flavor than one of our most read recipes,  plum butter.  It makes for a lovely preserve, though, and is perfect for spooning over a hearty wheat bread. I’m grateful for a well-stocked bulk aisle at our grocery store, but this large quantity of honey was still a little pricey. But! The plums were a beautiful gift from nature, so it all balances out, right?

Plum Honey Preserves

Yields 6 half-pints (conveniently one canner load)

5 pounds plums*

2 1/2 c. mild-tasting honey (I chose clover.)

*Weigh plums after they have been sliced and pitted. I used 4 pounds of well-ripened plums and 1 pound of not quite ripe plums. Less ripe fruit contains more pectin than ripened fruit and will help your preserves set. I used large, juicy golden plums.

  1. Wash, pit, and slice plums.
    If your plums are of the clingstone variety, use this technique: slice in quarters around the pit, instead of trying to get the pit cleanly out.
  2. In a large, heavy pot, add plums and sugar. Stir well.
  3. Bring to a boil over low heat. Stir often.
  4. Increase heat to medium-high. Continue to bubble for about one hour. Stir often and check for set. Periodically, skim the stiff froth off the top and discard.
  5. Test for final set.
    Because these are preserves, they will not set as a jam does. You are looking for a good proportion of fruit to wet.

    Are preserves set?
    As my preserves bubbled, I tested for set by dropping a bit on a plate. You can see the very wet preserves from the first 15 minutes of boiling in the center. The darkest splotch shows they are ready – very little water is separating from the fruit.
  6. Pour into hot jars and process for 10 minutes in a hot water bath. (See canning ‘how to’s’ here.)

Too many plums? How lucky! Try these other plum recipes.

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