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Today I made 5 pints of a new jam – cherry plum preserves with rosemary. Neither cherries nor plums are in season, but I couldn’t resist trying another fruit + herb combination with plums. Fresh rosemary is fragrant and woodsy, and it really shines (but doesn’t overwhelm) with a tangy fruit like cherries and the subtle heartiness of plums.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

my recipe:
(all measurements are approximate. I use less sugar than most jam-makers, so please take that into consideration. For those who use standard amounts of sugar, you’ll be looking at about 6 cups.)

Makes 4 pints

3-1/4 lb. plums (quartered and chopped, pits removed, skin on)
3/4 to 1 lb. cherries (chopped with pits removed)
You’ll want about 4lbs fruit all together.

fresh rosemary (enough for 8 – 2″ sprigs)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4-1/2 c. sugar
pinch of salt

Note: Unlike most homemade jams, this recipe does not require pectin. The skins of the plum provide enough for the jam to set, but keep in mind it is a loose set not a firm jelly.

Combine plums, cherries, and lemon juice in a large pot. Bring to a boil, and allow to cook over med-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring and mashing the fruit regularly.

Place a small plate in your freezer. You will use this later to test the set of your jam.

Once your fruit has boiled down some, add the sugar and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes or so, and be sure to skim any foam off the top.

Test your jam on the frozen plate to make sure it is done. Spoon a bit of jam onto the plate, if it sets and becomes jelly-like, then it’s done. If not, cook a bit longer and test again.

Prepare 8 half-pint jars and lids. Ladle the jam into clean jars, but do not put the lid on yet. Once all of your jam is in the jars, place a sprig of rosemary on the top of each one for about 15 minutes. Your kitchen should smell awesome right now. Remove the rosemary and place the lids on the jars. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

I haven’t gone into detail about the canning process in this recipe, so if you’re new to it or interested in giving it a try (it’s easy! and fun! I swear!), have a look at Kate’s guide to canning and home preserving on the Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking blog.

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I brought home two souvenirs from my week in South Carolina – a cheap wooden fan from a Chinese restaurant and a seashell. I’ll miss the beach.

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Illustration by Janelle Burger

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This is what I did on Friday night.

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This French-style yogurt cake with lemon (topped with homemade plum preserves) is truly my baking pièce de résistance.

French-style yogurt cake with lemon adapted from Molly’s recipe.

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