We have wonderful Italian plum trees all throughout our neighborhood. Our first year here we picked 34 pounds of plums! I got a recipe from the Fancy Pantry for Plum and Orange Liqueur Jam. After many many batches I adjusted the recipe to the following and really really love it. It doesn't set really thick, but it tastes fabulous and it is awesome to use with JanctC-KY's Easy Plum Sauce Easy Plum Sauce. NOTE: This is a great recipe for those who are intimidated by or want to try canning, BUT this method of canning is only good for fruit jams with an acid and lots of sugar. Do NOT use this method for canning other foods! When the jam is boiling it will splatter everywhere. I wear a long sleeve shirt and use an oven mitt when stirring the jelly. I also cover the rest of the stove and nearby wall with tin foil. It makes clean up a whole lot easier. EASY JELLY TEST...Place small plate in freezer to chill. Spoon some hot jam onto chilled plate and return to freezer for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from freezer and run your finger through the jam. If the jam does not fill in the space left by your finger, it's done. I like this jam a bit runny, so I don't worry if it fills in slightly.
- 4 lbs italian plums (do not use soft over ripe plums, it gives the jam a plastic flavor, use firm plums)
- 3⁄4 cup water
- 1⁄4 cup lemon juice (fresh or frozen, I like Minute Maid Frozen Lemon Juice)
- 3 1⁄2 cups sugar (the original recipe called for 4 cups, but I thought it was way too sweet. I wouldn't recommend usin)
- 1⁄2 cup orange liqueur (I use Cointreau)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Rinse, drain and pit plums.
- Cook the plums and water at a fast simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. I use my biggest, shallowest pan that will hold the plums and water and allow for stirring, you want evaporation to take place.
- The plums will become very soft and begin to fall apart.
- Press the plums and liquid through a coarse food mill.
- Combine plums, lemon juice and sugar in a large pan (like a dutch oven) or preserving pan.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter, this helps reduce foaming.
- Stir over medium high heat until sugar is dissolved.
- Cook jam at a brisk boil (spooning off any foam that arises) until it passes the jelly test, about 10 - 11 minutes.
- Add liqueur and cook 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Wash jars and screw rings.
- Fill electric fry pan 2/3 full with water and bring to a boil.
- Put jars in water, upside down along with sealing lids.
- Jars should heat at least 10 minutes, and sealing lids at least 3 and should be covered by water.
- Ladle jam into jars filing to 1/4 from very top.
- Wipe rim with boiling water using a paper towel.
- Put on sealing lid and screw on ring.
- Turn jar upside down.
- Finish all jars.
- Turn jars right side up.
- Cover jars with a towel.
- Jars should seal in 5 - 30 minutes. If jars does NOT seal, use jam, do not store for any length of time.