...And we’re back! We’ve done the whole Labor Day thing, we’re getting back to school and work and here I am posting a recipe for this very summery Plum Butter??!! Especially after I went on and on last week about how it’s time to jump into Fall and embrace the new season in all its foodie goodness. We’ll get there tomorrow, I promise. But today, we've got to hang onto summer for food for just a little longer, because you must have this amazing concoction in your repertoire (and belly) while fresh plums are still around!!
Are you a fruit butter sort of person? It's always sounded a little "off" to me, even though butter and jam are a winning combination. Go figure. But a couple of years ago, I made this addictive Cinnamon Vanilla Apple Butter and now I'm hooked! It's added immeasurable happiness to autumn for me and I'm so, so looking forward to going apple picking in a few weeks and whipping up a big batch of it again. For right now though, this tart plummy spread has captured my heart and I just know you're going to love it too! And most happily, it's easy to make!
The whole thing really comes together itself and except for a wee bit of annoying straining time, it's virtually hands-free. And I guarantee that nothing you buy ready-made will have that true "fresh fruit" taste. Honestly, every bite really tastes like fresh plums!
It’s fantastic on toast! Makes those mornings that it feels hard to get up, a whole lot easier! Seriously, I spring up out of bed in the morning thinking, "Yay, there's plum butter in the fridge! The day is going to be good!" (it really doesn't take much to make me happy these days)
And understand that the bossiness of this next statement is only coming from my immense love for this plum butter and my desire for all of you to experience it too: drop what you’re doing, get to the store and pick up a couple of pounds of plums, NOW!!
Makes at least two 8 ounce jars worth
You will need a food processor or food mill for this.
Prep Time: 5 minutes; Cook Time: About 1 ½ hours
- About 2 pounds not too ripe black plums, pitted and cut into quarters
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 1 ½ cups sugar
1. Place the plums, lemon juice and water in a large heavy pot. Split the vanilla bean down the middle and scrape out the seeds, adding them to the pot along with the pod. Stir and bring to a boil over medium heat, scraping the bottom of the pot and sides with a large heat proof spatula to prevent scorching. Once the small bit of liquid has come to a boil, lower the heat so that the mixture is just simmering and cover the pot. Let cool about 20 minutes, stirring often, until the fruit is very soft and falling apart. Remove from the heat and discard the vanilla bean pod. Let cool a bit.
3. Use a ladle to transfer the mixture in batches to a food processor and purée until smooth. Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain the mixture into it. Discard the solids. Give the large pot a quick rinse and dry and return the strained plum mixture to it. Add the sugar and place over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Then, turn the heat up high and bring the mixture to a boil. Now, lower the heat so that the mixture comes to a low simmer and let cook for about 1 hour, stirring often.
4. While the mixture is cooking, place a spoon and a small plate into the freezer. After the hour is up, dip the cold spoon into the hot mixture and place a small spoonful of it onto the cold plate. Place the plate back into the freezer for a couple of minutes, then remove and run your finger through the jam. If the jam stays in place and doesn’t run back together, you’re done. If not, cook for another 10 minutes and check again.
5. Let the mixture cool a bit, then ladle into glass jars and let cool to room temperature, about 2-3 hours. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Note: Recipe adapted from Bread Toast Crumbs by Alexandra Stafford. The original recipe calls for using a food mill, which I don’t have, so I used a food processor, and it came out fantastic. If you have a food mill though, use that by all means.