Mixes-In-Jars #2 – Fruit Crumble

According to Grace, “Crumble makes everything better!”  So, when I came across a recipe called Fruit “Crumble,” how could I possibly resist.

I made this dessert a few weeks ago using Concord Grape Pie Filling and then again tonight using Plum Pie Filling.  Both were excellent and definitely a quick and easy dessert for a busy day. Putting the main ingredients in a jar and sealing it makes the prep time a mere five minutes.  Who doesn’t have five minutes to make a hot and hearty dessert?

Fruit Crumble

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  • 1 1/2 Cups Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Cold Butter, shredded
  • 1 Quart (4 cups) Pie Filling

Dump contents of jar into large bowl.  With a cheese shredder, shred the cold butter into the bowl. The cheese shredder is a great way to turn a cold stick of butter into tiny pieces.  I like this method far more than using a pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.

Combine the butter and dry ingredients with fingers.  Press half the mixture into a 8×8 greased pan. Add pie filling and top with remaining crumble.  Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes.

When I went to put the jars of the crumble mix together, I found I only had “old-fashioned” oats to work with, not “quick-cooking.”  This is an easy fix.  I just dumped the canister of old-fashioned oats into my food processor and pulsed it six or seven times.  This broke up more than 50% of the oats and quickly turned them into “quick-cooking” oats.

DSCF7189Note that at the top of the jar there are some mini marshmallows.  I read somewhere that these are supposed to stop the brown sugar from getting hard.  I’ve never tried this before and with the jar being sealed by my Foodsaver it might not be necessary, but I figured it couldn’t hurt.  I’ll just take the marshmallows out before dumping the mix in the bowl.

Crumble is definitely a crowd pleaser around our house, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

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Canning Plums – Not For The Faint Of Heart

This morning I began the arduous task of canning the plum harvest we recently made from our abundant orchard.

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Okay, orchard might be a stretch, but abundant doesn’t begin to do our harvest justice.

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Although I am ever so grateful for the bounty our tree has blessed us with for the second year in a row, plums are by far the worst fruit to can — hands down.  They are tedious and time-consuming, far more than peeling peaches, pitting cherries, or seeding strawberries.  So far today I have washed, stemmed, pitted and sliced 10 pounds of the 80 to 90 pounds I have in buckets and it took me nearly an hour and a half.  Being that they are not free-stone, pitting is almost impossible.  Thankfully I learned a neat trick several years ago and use a melonballer to assist, otherwise I’d probably still be working on them.

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Last year I made plum pie filling and froze it.  It was quick and easy, other than the pitting, but freezer space continues to be an issue, even more so now that I have peppers, tomatoes and zucchini taking up space.  Hubby really needs to give some serious consideration to my request for a second chest freezer.  I did my research and it would only cost about $55 a year to run.  Until then, I’m going to can all my pie filling and store it in the pantry.

Plum Pie Filling

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  • 6 Quarts Washed, Pitted and Slice Plums
  • 6 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Cup + 3 Tbsp. Clear Jel Dissolved in 1 Cup Water
  • 4 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup Lemon Juice

Pit and slice plums.

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Place slices in water containing Fruit Fresh to prevent browning.

DSCF3715Bring large stock pot of water to boil.  Place 6 cups of fresh fruit in boiling water and return to boil.  Boil 1 minute.  Drain and keep fruit in covered bowl.  Continue until plums are all blanched.

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Combine water, sugar, and Clear Jel slurry in large stock pot.  Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and begins to bubble.  Add lemon juice and boil 1 minute.  Fold in plums.

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Fill hot jars, leaving 1-inch head space.  Adjust and process in water bath for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, let rest 5 minutes more in water before removing.

This recipe made 7 quarts plus 1 pint of plum pie filling.  One more batch and I should be set for the year.

Ten pounds down and 7+ quarts in the pantry for the winter, for this I am — Simply Grateful.