Wild California Plum Jam

My grandmother makes the best jam, and a few summers ago I had her teach me how to can. My all time favorite is the wild plum jam. They live on the northern ridge of california and they have these bushes that put out these tiny bright red plums every fall. So, when my parents just went up there last week and they brought home a bunch of plums (red and purple) and some apples.

So here it goes, Im going to teach you all how to make jam. Although since it is such a time sensitive process, it is really quite hard to stop and photograph for you.

Look at those plums, so gorgeous right?

Slice and pit…

Food process

At this point you need to get your canner on to boil with enough water that will cover your jars with one inch of water.

So cook your plum puree with almost equal amounts of sugar. taste your plums as you go, if needs sugar add sugar. if it tastes sweet don’t add any more. I like a squirt of lemon juice, it just brightens up the flavor.

cook, while stirring continuously, until it hits a roiling boil. This means when you stir, it continues to boil.

Note: This is not a roiling boil:

I would’ve gotten a picture of a roiling boil for you, but like I said I was busy canning…

Jars, rings, and funnels can be sanitized in the dishwasher, but the lids themselves cannot as it will breakdown the rubber seal. Lids also need to be replaced every time you can so that you have a fresh seal. Lids go into a small pot of boiling water until needed.

Pour into the jars using the funnel, leaving a 1/2″ air space at the top. If you have a canning funnel, pour to the lip of the funnel.

Wipe off the rim of the can and place a lid on it, careful not to touch the rubber seal. I have this nifty magnet thing that grabs them. Screw the ring on, you don’t have to do it super tight, If you put the lids on when everything’s still hot it will seal.

Place cans on the rack and lower the rack into the canner of boiling water. They sit in the water for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of jars you used.

Remove from the canner and let sit, they should begin to seal immediately, but could take up to an hour. If they don’t seal in an hour, they wont, put that jar in the fridge and eat within a month.

so heres some science for you. canning works because the jam is hot, the jar is hot, the lid is hot and the water is hot. this makes really hot air inside the can. The sealing doesn’t actually happen until it comes out of the water. As the air cools it decompresses sucking the lid onto the can like a tupperware lid. Thats why when you push the little button on the top and it moves that means it didn’t seal properly.

Happy canning!


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