Italian plums will always remind me of my mom when we were growing up, her delight when plum season arrived in the summertime, and her two bite technique for eating these plums out of hand, deftly plucking the pit from the halved fruit and forging ahead with the second bite without a hitch. She told my sister and I she could easily become a fruitarian. And with gifts like these from the trees, why not?
When faced with baskets of Italian (or Stanley) plums last summer, I had a hankering to meld the flavors of ginger and these gorgeous fruits together.
The recipe is so simple and delicious. It’s a perfect way to spend a few hours, filling the kitchen with incredible fruit butter making fragrance – and reveling in the sweet alchemy that heat creates with cut Italian plums. Spoiler alert! That frosty looking blue skin and pale yellow interior gives way to a rich, deep rose deliciousness. What a surprise it was for me, the first time I ever witnessed the magic!
A food processor makes wonderful work of blending a silky smooth consistency, with a few charming bits of plum skin scattered here and there.
Oh gosh its good.
Time for the recipe:
Ginger Plum Butter
Makes about 5 eight ounce jars
- 2 1/2 lbs. fresh Italian (or other favorite) plums
- 2/3 to 3/4 c. honey
- 1/2 c. minced fresh ginger
Wash, pit and chop plums. Place in large pot with honey and ginger, and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often as the mixture cooks. Watch closely! Thick fruit mixtures make giant burning bubbles if left untended on the stove! Use a potato masher if you like, to help break down the plum pieces as they cook. When fruit is completely tender, remove from heat, let cool slightly, then puree in food processor. Older recipes will direct you to run fruit mixture through a food mill or press through sieve. Use whichever method appeals to you, to achieve a smooth texture. I then return the pureed plum ginger deliciousness to the pot, and bring back to a low simmer.
Meanwhile, sterilize jars for canning, then pour plum butter into jars within 1/4 inch of the tops, wipe rims and seal immediately. Process in a hot water bath 10 minutes, check seals then store* in a cool, dry place.
*Highly Recommended to reserve a jar for immediate eating!
Blessings for sweet summer days and nights, and be sure to share a jar and a smile, plenty of smiles, with your friends and neighbors!