Wild plums were a staple for indigenous people and settlers for ages. They're exceptional for jams, jellies, dried snacks and desserts, as well as by the handful right off the shrub. Try this Wild Plum Jam recipe, and you won't be disappointed.
Finding Edible Wild Fruits in the Country
Wild Plum Jam
4 pounds pitted wild plums
1⁄2 cup water
7 1⁄2 cups sugar
1 package liquid pectin
If you don’t want to pull large hunks of plum skin out of your jam, you can either finely chop the plums in the beginning or blitz the mix with a handheld immersion blender when they’re cooked.
In large, heavy-bottomed cooking pan, combine pitted plums and water.
Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for at least 5 minutes, stirring and crushing plums. Hit them with the immersion blender if you haven’t previously chopped them.
Add sugar and mix thoroughly.
Bring mixture to full boil over high heat, to the point where it cannot be stirred down.
Quickly add liquid pectin. Continue stirring and boiling hard for 1 minute. (Use the timer; don’t guess.)
Remove from heat and skim off foam, if necessary.
Fill sterilized and prepared canning jars, and process in water bath for 10 minutes (adjusting for altitude as necessary).
NOTE: This recipe produced 7 half-pint jars, with nearly a full extra pint that I just put in the refrigerator for our immediate use instead of processing in the water bath. The bonus jam is a good way to test it to make sure it’s perfect before giving it out as gifts!