Plum Jelly

2011-09-13 14:31
Mountain Standard Time

Ripe plums

Start with ripe plums.  Ones that are ready to eat make better jelly than under ripe or over ripe fruit.Select the plums that are very ripe to nearly ripe and place in a bucket or basket. How many you will need will vary greatly by the size of your fruit.  The ones I am using are about double the size of walnuts so I used about 80 of them to make 4 pints.  Place the whole plums,  skins and pits (all of it), in an appropriate sized cooking pot, add 3 cups of water to prevent the fruit from scorching on the bottom of the pot, and bring to a boil.  Turn down and simmer.  Let simmer a half hour to an hour till the skins shrink up and fall off. Turn off and remove pot from heat.  Let your fruit cool down.

Once the fruit is cool, strain it through a sieve.  I use the bottom of a mug to squish it and push it through a sieve.  I use a small ladle and do a little at a time. Work the sieve until most of the pulp and juice has been strained out.  Throw away the pit and skin (you can keep them in if you like, I prefer to remove them to make the jelly not chunky.)
Follow the directions on the box of pectin exactly. Do not double the recipe because that usually affects the way the jelly sets up. Basically, add the pectin to the sieved pulp and bring to a hard boil for 1 minute. Add the required amount of sugar, and again bring to a hard boil for 1 minute.
Prepare the jars. Check pint canning jars for cracks or nicks around the lip. Wash the jars and rings thoroughly. Place the lids in a small pot of water and heat to simmer. Place the jars upside down in a pan of water on the stove and heat. Warm the rings in a sink full of hot water.
Make sure you seal your jars to keep your jelly safe to eat.  
To seal jars:
Using a ladle, pour the hot liquid into a jar. Wipe the top of the jar carefully and thoroughly with a clean cloth. Place a hot lid and then a warm ring on the jar, tighten securely, and place the jar upside down on a towel.
Continue with each jar, one at a time. When finished, wait about 5 minutes and then turn the jars right-side up. Over several minutes, each jar should ‘seal,’ you'll know it is sealed when you hear it pop.

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