Join me for canning week (Recipe: Sweet Cherry-Plum Jam)

This summer I’ve been making a conscious effort to up my canning game. Getting my act together for preserving takes setting a specific time aside for the job, penciling it on the digital calendar, and communicating with Danny that, dude, you so have all the kids on Saturday, but it’s going to be so worth it when we’re eating preserves all winter long.

Once the dates were set, I rounded up every canning jar in the house, took stock of my Tattler lids, invested in a few Weck jars, and purchased more standard jars that I anticipated I would need. It’s important to get your gear in order before you buy your fruit. Fruit can spoil quickly, but jars can sit around forever.

So far, it’s been going well, with my running list of preserves looking like this:

The weeks are just flying by, though, and I feel like I am barely staying on top of the seasonal produce as it comes and goes at the market. I’ve already missed my chance to pickle asparagus, but they weren’t on my all-important list of ‘must-haves’. (Speaking of essentials, have you written up a practical assessment of what you need to can and you will eat? This helps keep your canning projects realistic – and your sanity intact.)

I thought an official canning week was just what we needed around here to keep up the momentum, share a few recipes, and inspire each other.

Read on for information on how to join in, as well as a recipe for cherry-plum jam.

Sweet Cherry-Plum Jam

I tend to make the same (classic, yet boring) varieties of jam each year and so I looked to Marisa for some inspiration for this week.  Those of you who have thumbed through the new Food in Jars cookbook will understand when I say I had a tough time picking out a spread. (If you think her creations on Simple Bites are magical, wait until you get your hand on her beautiful cookbook.)

I had it narrowed down to Oven-Roasted Peach Butter, Nectarine-Lime Jam, and Sweet Cherry-Plum Jam – and then the cherries at the market caught my eye. Sweet, juicy and lower-priced than all the other stone fruit, they practically made my choice for me and cherry jam it was.

Marisa sagely says that with their assertive sweetness, cherries run the risk of becoming akin to cough syrup in a preserve. Since this was my first cherry jam, I placed my trust in her and added tart plums to balance out the flavor profile.

Oh my goodness. Yum. I’m eating more toast just so I can dip into a jar.

Join our canning week!

Instagram. Share a photo of your latest canning project on Instagram and use the hashtag #SBCanIt to link up your creations. You can follow me under the name @aimeebourque.

Twitter. Tweet a canning related tip, recipe, or photo and be sure to tag it with #SBCanIt. I’m @simplebites on Twitter and I’ll be tweeting canning tips all week under the same hashtag: #SBCanIt

Blog. Share your canning projects and photos on your blog and leave a link in the comments. I’d love to see what’s pickling in your kitchen.

Facebook. Share a photo or a link on the Simple Bites Facebook page.

Pinterest: Find inspiration on my Passion for Preserves board for your next batch of jam.

At the end of the week I’ll pick a photo or recipe that inspired me and (provided I can contact the individual) I’ll mail them a brand new copy of Marisa’s book: Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round.

I hope you’ll join in!

Sweet Cherry-Plum Jam
5.0 from 1 reviews
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Recipe type: Preserve
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 4 (1-pint/500 ml) jars
Tart plums add a perfect balance to sweet cherries in this truly summery jam.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups pitted and chopped plums (about 1-1/2 pounds/680 g whole plums)
  • 4 cups pitted and chopped sweet cherries (about 2 pounds/910 g whole cherries)
  • 3-1/2 cups/700 g granulated sugar
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 (3-ounce/85 ml) packets liquid pectin
Instructions
  1. Prepare a boiling water bath and 4 regular-mouth 1-pint/500 ml jars as per our canning basics post. Place the lids in a small saucepan, cover them with water, and simmer over very low heat.
  2. Combine the plums, cherries and sugar in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, until the jam looks molten and syrupy.
  3. Add the lemon zest and juice and the pectin. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and ladle the jam into the prepared jars. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn off canner, then carefully lift jars out and set on a towel on the counter to cool. Let sit 24 hours, then check that all have sealed. Label and store in a cool place.
Notes
Because of the variables in the fruit, pot size and moisture in the air, cooking times can vary a lot. I only cooked my jam for 15 minutes and it was on the soft side. For firmer jam, be sure to cook the full suggested time, and perhaps even a little more, depending on how thick you want it to be.

 

Ready to get canning? Let’s do it.

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites.

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Comments

  1. I used to watch my mom and grandma can when I was little but have never done it myself. I don’t think this will be my year to start but some people from church have been canning and giving us some and I always enjoy that immensely.
    Steph’s last post: Put the Target on the Wall

  2. I haven’t been able to keep up with canning much this year because my new job coincided with the start of summer fruit season, but I did manage to make that strawberry vanilla jam I gave you, and a peach bourbon jam that is to-die-for. I’m hoping to make more of that, and maybe some of this! I’m also thinking Sour Cherry Peach might be good.
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies’s last post: Secret Recipe Club: Lemon Pineapple Cream Pie

  3. I *want* canning to be on the schedule this week but I’ve got non-preserve deadlines to meet first! Is it sad that I’d consider canning a reward for doing work?
    Casey@Good. Food. Stories.’s last post: Building the Bar: The Booze

  4. We are mid winter at the moment so not much ‘preserving’ or canning going on. But a while ago I came first in the local show for my plum sauce! :-) I used the plums/prunes from our nearly 100 year old tree that are a bit too sour to eat as a raw fruit but they really come into their own when they are made into a sauce or chutney.

  5. Oh, Aimee. I’m a little in love with this jam! The color is gorgeous and it sounds divine!
    bridget {bake at 350}’s last post: The Night Sky…and Astronomy 101

  6. This jam sounds delicious! I haven’t done any preserves this year, but I’ve made sweet zucchini relish as well as zucchini pickles (our fave!). My neighbors grandfather has harvested nearly 1,000 pounds of tomatoes from his “small” (said tongue in cheek) garden with five rows of tomato plants…Needless to say, I’m giving her a lesson in pressure canning tomorrow evening. I’ll try to Instagram some pictures with the hashtag!

  7. Oh this looks absolutely scrumptious! I’m loving making jams, jellies, and preserves lately and definitely need to try this recipe!
    Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch’s last post: Peach Bars Recipe | Add a Pinch

  8. I’m so excited for your canning week. This jam looks delicious!

  9. love this jam – it looks gorgeous! i have been on a canning kick this past week. my kitchen has been COVERED with jars. i’ve done salsa (YUM), tomato sauce, berry honey jam (with pomona’s pectin) and ketchup — love love love.

    http://www.pinterest-project.blogspot.com/2012/07/homemade-ketchup-yes-please.html
    jamie’s last post: Hit or Miss Monday

  10. I’ve had a great time jamming this summer and can’t wait for the next canning post. :)

  11. Love this recipe. And summer abundance!! Looking forward to canning week :)
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com’s last post: Cherry Balsamic Summer Parfait

  12. I was so busy canning all weekend I didn’t see this post. Still have fruit and cucs left to finish so I’ll try to snap some pics

  13. Yeah! Love this! I was a big fan of UtHC’s jam swap! This is great. Haven’t jammed this season but made refrigerator dill pickles last week. Link below. Can’t wait to hear and see what everyone has done this summer.
    Melissa @ Baking For The Boys’s last post: Refrigerator Dill Pickles

  14. nicolle says:

    Question. You have a link to vanilla peaches, yet after reading through it I see no vanilla?

  15. This looks like so much fun!! I always have a few jars of jam left over by the next summer but it feels like we always run out of salsa no matter how much we can! Looking forward to checking out the pictures on instagram
    Stephanie’s last post: Blueberry Honey Millet Muffins

  16. I always love your canning posts, they are so delectable and inspiring :D xoxo
    Tickled Red’s last post: Salad Love In Monterey With Dole

  17. I made a batch of sweet cherry jam and completely overlooked Marissa’s recipe in her book and after processing I found that I had overdid it with the lemon juice as I was trying to offset the sweetness. There is no cherry flavor just an overpowering lemon flavor. I came across your posting and I was wondering if I could cook down some plums and open my jars of cherry jam and reprocess again? I really don’t want to throw this out since we picked these in WA state and I brought them all the way back to VA! Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.

  18. I made a batch of sweet cherry jam and completely overlooked Marissa’s recipe in her book and after processing I found that I had overdid it with the lemon juice as I was trying to offset the sweetness. There is no cherry flavor just an overpowering lemon flavor. I came across your posting and I was wondering if I could cook down some plums and open my jars of cherry jam and reprocess again? I really don’t want to throw this out since we picked these in WA state and I brought them all the way back to VA! Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.

  19. How fun to have a canning week! I’ve been canning a lot this summer and some favs have been Blackberry Port Jam and Blueberry Spiced Jam, but this classic Peach Jam is my favorite pick so far.
    Jessica @ LocalGoodness’s last post: Peach Jam (with no added pectin)

  20. I have been raised with a practical, basic approach to canning. It’s not important what it tastes like, just that it’s preserved. It never occurred to me that I could be fancy. My horizons have been expanded! Thanks for your canning week!

  21. The cherry plum jam looks amazing and I’m planning on trying it out this weekend! Question: would reducing the amount of sugar impact the ability of the jam to ‘set’?

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