This past weekend, a relative of mine brought over a huge box of these tiny little plums that I’ve never seen before. They were the cutest things. Anyway, since I’m so into canning, I had to put them to use in a great canning recipe. Everyone in my family loves plum jam! Or plum butter. Or whatever else we can throw plums into! My mom even had a plum tree in her backyard for some time.
I quickly looked online for a simple plum recipe so I could get to work. I found a couple that sounded good and my mother in law of sorts brought over a recipe with the plums but eventually just made my own concoction. I didn’t have any of the spices on hand and frankly just didn’t want to go to the store.
To make this process easier, I boiled the plums in a big saucepan until they were soft and mushy. I was then able to easily pull out the pit and throw that part away. I then put the plums through my food mill to separate the yummy plum goodness from their skins. After this process was all said and done, I placed all of the great pulp I had just separated into a big stockpot along with lots of sugar. I had about 10 cups of pulp. In terms of adding sugar, the ratio is about 2:1. Two parts plum, one part sugar. So I ended up adding 5 cups of sugar. I also added 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. You don’t need to add any pectin, but can if you get impatient like I did. I also added about a half cup of cinnamon just for some added flavor. At this point, I brought the contents of my pot to a boil and hunkered down on a stool right in front of my stove.
And then comes the extra boring part! For 2 hours, I had to stand there and stir the jam every 2-3 minutes as it thickened. You really don’t want the jam to burn, so this step is mandatory in creating the perfect jam! It wasn’t as thick as I wanted after the two hours, so I added a packet of pectin and let it boil a little longer. As soon as it was the consistency I wanted, I prepared my canning jars and started to put my jam mixture into jars for processing.
My awesome husband got me a Ball Freshtech Automatic Water Bath Canner and it has become one of my favorite canning items. Instead of heating up the entire house boiling water in a canner on the stove, it plugs into an outlet and uses its own heat to boil the water! It’s amazing!
I processed my plum jam for 10 minutes and then let the jars cool and waited for the “pop” sound that lets me know they have sealed.
As I was sitting and admiring my newly made plum jam, I realized that I had a couple of relatives that would love to have some plum jam and went to work on some labels for my jars. I am no expert in making extravagant and beautifully designed pieces of artwork, so I settled for a simple yet funny label design. I used round Avery label stickers that were 3″ in width for this project. I opened up a label template in Word so that I had the shapes of the stickers present in my mind. I then went over to Canva on my internet browser. Canva is a really awesome tool that can be used to design pretty much anything. Logos, flyers, business cards, banners, etc. I used Canva to create the outline of the text and used Word Art in Microsft Word to make the words curve on the label. I made my label specifically for plum jam, but you can make your label for anything. It doesn’t even have to be jam!
More pictures will be uploaded soon, but I wanted to share how easy it is to make and create your own labels for your canning jars!