Yakityak's Rum Plum Butter (waterbath canning)

This is a fairly tart plum butter, which is the way I like it. However if that's not your style, you may wish to up the sugar by a cup. Dedicated sweet tooths might even want a cup and a half more sugar. You can also opt to use less of the lemon zest to reduce tartness. The spices are identifiable without being prominent. This recipe perfectly fills six 12 oz. jars with very little left over. Six 12 oz. jars is identical in volume to nine 8 oz. jars, for your reference.

NB: Make sure that you have set up to do a waterbath canning. This means have your jars (inspected to make sure there are no nicks or cracks) clean and start them boiling in the canning pot so as to begin the sterilizing process before you begin with the plum butter. You will need the waterbath to be at a rolling boil when you are processing, and that's a large amount of water to heat up. Get it going on the stove first thing. Lids should be heated in a separate shallow pan because even with a magnetic lid retriever, you can't reach the bottom of the waterbath pot once the water is hot. The jars need to be ready to be filled (dry but still hot), which means they need to have boiled in that water bath a good 10 minutes before the plum butter is ready to be poured into jars. I place my sterilized jars on top of a clean towel or rag to insulate them from the counter so they don't crack. Some equipment is simply essential - the canning pot with the rack to keep the jars off the bottom and the jar tongs being amongst the most important.

Kept in a cool, dark location, these jars should be good for up to a year in storage.

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