Having our own plum tree can be both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because over the past two years we harvested more than 400 pounds of fruit, a curse because over the past two years we harvested more than 400 pounds of fruit and more than 200 of it had to be canned or processed. Last year we only had about 85 pounds of usable fruit to work with, but seeing as I still had plum pulp and juice in the freezer from 2013, I wasn’t about to complain.
Our whole family loves plum everything. I make jam, jelly, preserves, juice, pie filling, can the whole fruit, and even dry them and make plum fruit leather. Still, with so much fruit, the freezer quickly filled of containers of fruit and pulp that I had to save for another day. Today was that day.
Having a wonderful stockpile of cranberries in the freezer to keep me happy until next October when they once again will be sold locally, I decided to use some of them to make homemade cranberry sauce. Not wanting to miss out on an opportunity to improve upon an old favorite, I decided that rather than use the “water” the recipe called for, I would use plum juice. What a great way to utilize the abundance of plum juice in the freezer and make our cranberry sauce even better.
- 3 – 12 oz. Packages Cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 3 Cups Plum Juice
- 3 Cups Sugar
- 7 Tbsp. Clear Jel mixed in 1/2 Cup Water
Rinse and sort cranberries. Combine cranberries and plum juice in large stock pot and slowly bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes covered, allowing the cranberries to pop.
Remove from heat. Using a stick blender, puree the cranberries until the mixture is smooth. Pour liquid into a mesh strainer, removing the seeds and skins from the sauce.
Return the strained sauce to the stock pot and add the sugar. Stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
Slowly stir in Clear Jel slurry and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to boil and boil hard for one minute.
Remove from heat and ladle into hot jars. Process for 20 minutes in water-bath canner.
This recipe yields 5 – 12 oz. jars and 1 – 8 oz jar.
This particular recipe does not make a cranberry sauce that is jellied as those in the stores. It is smooth and spreadable. Not jellied enough for molding or slicing.
We especially like using this sauce on turkey burgers and pork, or even spreading on chicken like barbecue sauce. It is sweet but still tart and the plum juice adds a subtle undertone of fruity flavor that makes this a great staple to have on hand for all sorts of meals.
An over abundance of plums might be a lot of work and at times may seem like a curse, but actually I am very grateful and love every minute of it. From the first bud in spring, until the last plum is harvested, to the first taste of juicy fruit, and finally the last drop of juice frozen, I am Simply Grateful.