I’ve had one of my most exciting foraging finds! A few days ago as I was wandering the forest skimming the tree line in search of wild apples, I came across a treat I hadn’t expected – a thicket of wild plums! I knew they grow here in MN, but I’d never seen a sign of them. Exciting to say the least.
With my foraging bag over my shoulder, I plucked a few off the tree and popped them in my mouth one at a time. The fruit was sweet and the skins tangy. Having confirmed they’re delicious, I picked the ripest and into my bag they went. With a full bag in hand, I considered my day a success and went home to make a plan to put them up.
I love jams and jellies – there’s nothing better than homemade bread with homemade preserves to start your morning off right. For me, the only way to put these up was to make jam. Right now, I have a thick slice of cracked wheat bread slathered with butter and plum jam, and I’m happy as can be. If he’s good, I may even share some with my husband.
Wild Plum Jam Recipe
4 pounds whole wild plums
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
5 cups sugar
1 package fruit pectin (3 ounce)
Remove the pits but keep the skins. Chop the fruit (I found that using a serrated bread knife worked best for getting through the skins) and put into a stainless steel pot with the water over medium heat until boiling. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sugar and bring the mixture to a rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Add pectin and boil for an additional minute, still stirring constantly. Set aside, off heat, for 1 minute. Skim off any foam.
In the meantime, sterilize the jar, lids, and bands. Then, pour the jam into 8 ounce jars and leave a 1/8 inch headspace. Wipe the rimes and threads then put on the lids and bands. Process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.