Recipe from Liana Krissoff, author of Canning for a New Generation. "Spices! In jam! This was the jam that made me realize how good homemade preserves could be--and I'm pretty sure it landed me my book deal. You can use any kind of plums. Tart, even under-ripe, plums too puckery to eat out of hand make especially good jams."
4 pounds diced black plums
2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 to 2 tsp. freshly ground cardamom
How to Make It
Bring diced plums and sugar to a light boil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring often, and simmer, stirring often, 5 minutes. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, gently pressing with a wooden spoon to squeeze out juices. Reserve plum pieces. Return juice to Dutch oven; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Boil, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes or until syrupy and a candy thermometer registers 220º. Add reserved plum pieces and any accumulated juices. Stir in lime juice and cardamom. Bring to a light boil over medium-high heat, stirring often; simmer, stirring often, 15 minutes. Skim off foam with a metal spoon, if necessary. Pour hot mixture into 5 (8-oz.) hot sterilized jars, filling to 1/2 inch from top. Seal and process as directed (see below).
A Three-Step Guide to Puttin' Up
Yes, it really is that easy. To get started, you'll need a basic canner, a jar lifter, and a canning rack. Look for a 9- or 12-piece canning kit, which will include all of these pieces and more.
Step 1: Sterilize.
Bring a canner half full of water to a boil; simmer. Place jars in a large stockpot with water to cover; bring to a boil, and simmer 10 minutes. Place bands and lids in a large saucepan. (Always use new lids.) Using a ladle, cover bands and lids with hot water from canner to soften gaskets. Let stand 10 minutes.
Step 2: Prepare Recipe.
Meanwhile, prepare recipe. Remove hot jars from stockpot, 1 at a time, using jar lifter, and fill as directed in recipe.
Step 3: Seal & Process.
Wipe rims of filled jars. Cover at once with metal lids, and screw on bands (snug but not too tight). Place jars in canning rack, and place in simmering water in canner. Add more boiling water as needed to cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Bring water to a rolling boil; boil 10 minutes, adjusting processing time for altitude.* Turn off heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner, and let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Test seals of jars by pressing centers of lids. If lids do not pop, jars are properly sealed. Store in a cool, dark place at room temperature up to 1 year. Refrigerate after opening.
*Consult the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning at nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html to adjust processing times for altitude.