June 30, 2011

Honeyed Fruit Preserves

This recipe came about by accident but its a happy accident and may end up being one of my favorites. I bought some plums and peaches last week. These are my favorite fruit and I'm always tempted when they first show up in the stores. I should know better. These fruits are smaller and often mealy or sour. Sometimes they don't even have much taste. But I didn't want to throw them out, so I decided to try to save them in a jam. They were also very ripe which I think is what ended up making this a good jam.

I also had a big bag of cherries that I pitted last yr. I remember sitting on my back deck in the sun all day doing those. I forgot about them till now. I don't want to lose them so I decided to toss some in this jam. It was a good idea. The combo of fruit tho was very tart. I didn't want to just add sugar tho, I wanted more flavor. So I taste tested some fruit with honey in a sm. dish. Good idea!

The honey enhanced the peaches so they tasted more peachy. I wanted more tho. So I added a touch of vanilla to it and found that the cherries tasted more cherry like too. I often add a touch of vanilla to the end of my jams. I find it mellows the flavors. You could can these in smaller jars. I just used the pts. because it was all I had here right now that I had lids for. But honestly the cherries stay whole and I think smaller jars would just end up with all cherries . The cherries do make this a nice rosy colored jam.
Honeyed Fruit Preserves Makes 4 pts.

5c. of juicy peaches, plums and cherries, must be very ripe
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp. butter
1 box of low sugar pectin
1c. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla

At this point I hope you have your jars ready and the water bath canner boiling.

Peel peaches and plums, remove pits and cut into chunks. Rather than add juice to this recipe as Ball suggests, I suggest using very ripe fruit so it makes its own juices. Pit cherries if they are fresh. I had frozen ones ready to use. I used about 3c. peaches and plums, 2c. cherries for this recipe. Mix together in a lg. pot and turn on heat.
 Add lemon juice and stir. Add pectin and stir well. Bring to a hard rolling boil you cant stir down. When you reach that point add the honey and stir well. Bring back to a boil and boil 2-3 min. Skim foam if it appears. Add vanilla and stir well. Take off the heat. Fill jars, wiping rims well and top with lids. Water bath 10 min. Let sit in water bath canner for 5min. more to ensure a good seal. Remove and put on a towel on your counter to cool. Check seals and store.
Don't panic when you see how loose it is after canning. I was afraid perhaps the pectin wasn't enough because it actually was more watery after canning than before. But I do know many times it takes some time to jell........sometimes up to two wks. So I let these cool overnight on the counter and this morning they are fine. So give it time if you see that with yours.

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