Plum Jam-ly


Plums seem to grow everywhere in France.  Purple plums, black plums, red plums, blue plums, even green plums… scrappy little plum trees full of these tiny, tasty little fruits seem to spring up in the most unlikely of places.  I even found one determined little plum tree growing right through a rather ugly old chain link fence!

While plums are delicious, they don’t last long as whole fruit.  Unlike apples, plums lose their luster and become quite soft quickly.  That’s why, as soon as I procured a big bag of little plums, I turned them into Plum Jam-ly right away!


“Jam-ly,” you ask?  That’s easy.  Jam-ly is a cross between jam (made from whole, crushed fruit) and jelly (made from fruit juice).  The bag of plums I worked with happened to be clingstone plums – the kind where the pit, or stone, sticks to the plum flesh instead of popping away cleanly.  I simply cut the plum halves away from the stone with a paring knife as I would for making jam, and saved all of the stones (with little bits of plum flesh stuck to them) to boil in a pot of water as I would for making jelly.  Voila… Jam-ly!  This easy recipe lets you squeeze every drop of flavor from your seasonal plums.  Enjoy!

WIN_20140925_124819Ingredients (makes 4, half-pint jars)

1 quart of fresh plums, washed

1 1/2 cups water (approximate)

2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons powdered pectin

WIN_20140925_1524021 star anise (or 1 cinnamon stick)


Step 1) Cut fruit away from stones, and chop fruit into small, bite size pieces.  Set aside.

Step 2) Place stones in a large pot and WIN_20140925_152846cover – just barely – with water.  Add star anise (or cinnamon stick) to the pot and bring to a boil.  Boil for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool until safe enough to handle before proceeding to step 3.

Step 3) Place a strainer over a second pot, and carefully pour the stones and liquid into the strainer.  Keep the liquid and any little bits of fruit that passes through the strainer!  Toss the stones into your compost bin.

Step 4) Add chopped plums, sugar, and pectin to the strained liquid and bring to a vigorous boil that cannot be stirred down.  Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.

Step 5) If you are canning your Jam-ly, ladle into sterilized half-pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Cover with lids and rims, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Or, just refrigerate your Jam-ly and either share with friends or consume within two weeks.


BIG Announcement – Repost to Win! Carly Ellen has a new book for you!

How to Bake a Chocolate Soufflé is now available in both paperback and Kindle eBook!

***A free signed copy will be given TODAY to one lucky reader who shares this post on their blog or Facebook page!***

How to Bake a Chocolate Souffle Blue Cover

Forget what your English professor told you – life stories are not written in college.

Madeleine LaBlange, Annie Anderson, and Audrey Navarro shared formative years as roommates at Chicago’s Catholic haven for women, the historic Abbott College. If only they could have predicted the collisions between their carefully crafted life plans and the realities they discover beyond campus…

Madeleine harbors dreams of becoming a concert pianist while Dr. Reynold Fenwick, her mercurial graduate school mentor, harbors fantasies of Madeleine. Will pursuing her dreams be worth the cost? Will an evening in Budapest change her life forever?

Annie plans to build a perfect family with her perfect husband in the cutthroat news media industry, until an abrupt tragedy shakes the foundations of her marriage. What happens when she feels pulled between the two men she loves most, her husband and her father?

Audrey leaves her religious, restrictive parents behind and aims for Chicago’s downtown skyline, dating recklessly and staring down each grueling workday one Chicago Dog at a time. Will an island respite lure her away from her corporate future? When she finds herself in the arms of an unexpected lover, will she have the courage to stand up for her own evolving sense of self?

Follow the journeys of these remarkable women, and cheer them on as they navigate life, love, and chocolate soufflé.

Includes over a dozen decadent new recipes from Crowded Earth Kitchen!