Slow Cooker Pork with Plum Jam

cold plum treeRemember those summer days when we were rolling in plums? The tree is cold and lonely now, but our shelves are WELL stocked with plum jam. Let’s just say, one can only eat so much toast. We wondered if there was a savory way we could use up some jam. An answer presented itself when we brought home From a Polish Country House Kitchen from the library. After salivating over many of the winter appropriate recipes in the book, we began to notice a pattern. Apparently there are a lot of plum trees in Poland and many of the dishes involve prunes. What thrifty people. Upon the book’s suggestion, we adapted a recipe to include plum jam and used the slow cooker instead of the oven to ease our schedule. I hope you’ll find this easy, tasty dish comforting for your winter evenings. The jam will give you a little sweet reminder of sunny days.

plum pork roastPolish Style Pork Roast with Plum Jam

2.5-3 pound pork arm roast (or a comparable piece of pork)
1 large clove garlic
2 tbls. dried marjoram
2 tbls. olive oil
4-8 ounces plum jam
coarse salt, pepper
1 1/2 c. water

  1. Rinse the pork, pat dry, and cut a deep pocket in the side of the roast.
  2. With a mortar and pestle, grind marjoram and garlic together to form a paste. (Alternatively, you can mince and mash with a fork.) In a small bowl, mix this paste with about 2 tbls. olive oil, 2 tsp. coarse salt, and many grinds of pepper.
  3. Rub this paste all over the meat and inside the pocket. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour. (Overnight would work just fine, too.)
  4. After the meat has rested, fill the pocket with jam. Tie it closed with butcher’s twine.
  5. Heat a skillet over medium high. Brown the roast on each side (even the ends) for about 1 1/2 minutes each side. Place the roast in the slow cooker and deglaze the pan with the water. Pour this and any scraped browned bits from the skillet into the slow cooker. Cover and cook at least 6 hours.

plum pork roast 2Note:

  • To make tying a little easier, lay your string out in rows on a plate. Then, place your roast on top of it. Bring strings together and tie.
  • We served it with cabbage, beans, and sweet potato one night and mashed potatoes the next. What a great, simple winter meal!

Strawberry and Raspberry Jam

Bainbridge Island in the summertime. I can’t help but chant: “Buried in berries, what a jam jamboree!” Jamberry is a book that the toddler and I read and reread. It’s one of our favorites and also an exuberant (and rhyming) description of just how very many berries there are available here in the summertime. Oh, joy of joys! Did we time our visit with berry availability? Perhaps we just might have done so….

At the beginning of July, you can find the cars and people lined up at the Day Rd. farmstand waiting for strawberries or raspberries. How to choose? Use them both! This recipe gives you a set but spoonable jam that presents a mysterious flavor, as the raspberry becomes unobvious. It’s a little sweet. Next season, I vow to experiment with honey-sweetened jam.

Makes 12 8 oz. jars-

6 cups strawberries
6 cups raspberries
8 cups sugar
1/3 c. lemon juice (Add 3 extra tbls. for  little more kick.)

Before beginning, ready your canning environment! For tips on how to begin, read this.

  1. Prepare berries. Rinse and pick through raspberries. Run the raspberries through the fine disc of a food mill to remove seeds and create a raspberry pulp. Rinse strawberries and cut off the stems. (There’s no reason to hull.)
  2. Select a large pot. Add strawberries and slightly crush with a potato masher. Add raspberry pulp.
  3. Simmer over medium-low for ten minutes.
  4. With a slotted spoon, remove big pieces of berries to a bowl and set aside. (You can skip this step, if you like.  Doing this results in a fresher tasting jam. You are lessening the cooking time of  the berries.)
  5. Add sugar and lemon juice. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  6. Increase heat to medium high and boil rapidly for about 15-20 minutes. Stir often. (If you’re using a candy thermometer, it should read 220-222F.) Test for set.
  7. Add berries back to boiling jam. Return to a boil, then take the pot off the heat. Stir. Let sit for 2-3 minutes. Skim the foam from the top.
  8. Ladle  into jars.
  9. Process for 10 minutes.


  • For more information on how to process jams, be sure to read through some of these articles.
  • Thanks to this blog for giving me the idea to remove the fruit. (It also presents an interesting anti-pectin explanation.)
  • Maybe you’d rather make plum jam.
  • Or perhaps you’d like to mix this jam into your homemade yogurt.

Updated: 6/28/13

How to Make Plum Jam

plum jamWe’re lucky to have a plum tree that provides an ample harvest every two years. The last time it was ‘fruitful,’ I wasn’t prepared at all and wound up making way too many plum cakes. This year, I was ready. I did my research, gathered my jars, and made jam. A whole lot of it.

This recipe doesn’t use pectin and has a lot of sugar. Adjust the amount according to the tartness of your available plums. Mine are very tart, almost inedible alone.

Makes 16 half-pint jars.

8 pounds of small plums, rinsed
4 cups of water
12 cups sugar (adjust according to sweetness of plums)
1/2 cup lemon juice

  1. Prepare yourself for canning. Read through the general guidlines on NCHFP’s site. For jam, equipment that you’ll need includes: medium canner with rack, tongs, canning funnel, jars and lids.
  2. Prepare your area. Wash the jars and rings in the dishwasher, leaving them inside to stay warm. Rinse your lids in mild soap and water and place in a saucepan with a few inches of water. Keep these warm on low heat. Fill your canner about two-thirds full of water. (You can also keep a teapot of water on medium, just in case you find that you need to replenish the water in the canner.)Bring plums and water to a boil.
  3. In a large pot, bring plums and 4 cups of water to boil over medium. Reduce the heat to low. Cover. Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. With a potato masher, gently mash the plums. The pits should float to the top. Skim the pits out with a slotted spoon.Skim the pits from the top.
  5. Add sugar and lemon juice.
  6. Pour the hot jam into your sterile jars. If needed, wipe off drips. Use tongs to place the lid. Add the ring and tighten only to just ‘fingertip’ tight. (Think: pour, wipe, lid, ring.)
  7. Place the full jars in the canner. Be sure that you have at least two inches of water over the tops. Process (boil) with the lid on for ten minutes.
  8. Remove jars from canner and place on racks. Be careful not to let the jars touch. Place a dish towel over the top, to slow cooling.Remove the jars to racks.

And now, enjoy your jam whenever you like. A batch of crumpets is probably in order.

Adapted from Well Preserved. Necessary soundtrack for jammin’? A little reggae, of course. Thanks to M, who was the real brains of this operation.