Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Plum tasty

Several years ago I made this quilt called "tea and plums" using a bowl of green plums, picked from the tree in our backyard for inspiration. The plums are ripe again and Ray brought home a couple of big bags of them. They are such a beautiful green with a dusty, blueish bloom, that shades into pink and purple. I don't know what the variety is—I think greengage plums are a bit more heart-shaped than these—but they are simply delicious and very sweet.

This will be our last harvest, since, with any luck at all, the house and the plum tree will belong to someone else next summer.

Besides eating them fresh from the tree, one of my favorite things to do with these plums is to make plum conserve. Easy and so tasty. It's like jam, but with more stuff. My Mom used to make grape conserve using our homegrown grapes, which she canned. I make my plum conserve using Mom's general instructions and I freeze mine.

The recipe is loose and flexible depending on the amount of fruit. I wash the fruit, cut in half and remove the stones and trim off any bad spots, then put into a large pot and simmer over low heat for several hours, stirring occasionally. When the fruit is reduced by about half I add several chopped oranges, including the peels and cook until the peel is tender and add sugar to taste. It takes a lot of sugar and we like it a little tart, you may like it sweeter. I start with about a cup and a half of sugar and then add additional half cups until it is sweet enough for me. Right at the end I throw in a cup or so of chopped nuts—either walnuts or pecans. I used pecans this time. Ladle into clean plastic containers with lids. Keeps in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. Freezes indefinitely. This is wonderful on hot biscuits or toast or yummy over vanilla ice cream.

I had 8 plastic containers and what I made filled all 8 exactly. I'm always amazed when that happens!


  1. Yum. That does look tasty. :-)

  2. Mmm... Looks yummy.
    I made plum jam last Monday. Love it!

  3. Will you have (or plant) any fruit trees at your new home?

  4. Oh YUMMMM Terry!
    I've never seen green plums before!


  5. Love the way you segue seamlessly (no pun intended) from art to food. My favorite kind of post!

  6. Anonymous4:21 PM

    Look tasty on both accounts! I just learned how to make jam/jelly/preserves/butter this summer. I wish I had my own fruit tree so I could have the freshest of fresh AND be able to preserve it!

  7. Anonymous5:06 PM

    I think that jam could be good on a biscuit with our coffee!!!

  8. Ok, I have to go find plums and make this one. Yum!! Funny how we are both writing about food today. It must be the weather.

  9. I'm always amazed/impressed how artists find ways of expressing the common in uncommon ways. Also, I don't know an artist who isn't a competent (in not outright fabulous) cook, do you?