Plums
Plums can be made into many enjoyable foods when there is a surplus of plums in the summer.

Plum Jam
Fill a crockpot up with plums and apples, or apple peels and cores.
Cover and let simmer until soft
Turn off heat and strain through a fine sieve or piece of cotton cloth to remove seeds and skins
Return liquid to crock pot and simmer uncovered until liquid is reduced by half.
Put the reduced syrup into a baked enamel saucepan, mixed with sugar to taste if desired, and bring to a boil. 
Boil for 4 mintues then remove from heat and pour into sturdy glass jars.
Cover and let cool.
Store in cool place or refrigerator.
Can be frozen, but loosen cover and let it freeze uncovered before replacing cover to prevent glass from breaking by the expanding jam.

Raw Fermented Plum Preserves
Ingredients:
1 pound of plums
1/2 cup of raw honey
2 teaspoons of kefir whey
1/2 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Chop plums into small pieces. Add raw honey, kefir whey, celtic sea salt and spices and put in a blender and mix well.Transfer the plum jam mixture to clean jars, pressing it down with a wooden spoon to remove air bubbles. Fill the jars with green tree leaves at the top and cover with a breathable cloth. Leave the jam to ferment in a cool place for 3 days and then transfer to the refrigerator. Leave to mature for 1 month before eating, but eat within 3 months.

The above recipe may be modified to create a set-jam by the following method. Cook 20% of the fruit with the spices and 1/2 cup of water for 2 hours. Add the salt and 1 teaspoon of pectin. Stir for 3-4 minutes to give time for the pectin to dissolve then put aside to cool to around 40C. About 5-10 minutes. Do not leave it too long or it will set. Mix the cooked mixture in with the raw plums and honey. Spoon into jars and screw on lids. Cool in a refrigerator to around 20C then leave to ferment in a cupboard for 3-4 days at 20C, before transferring to a refrigerator.

Umeboshi
The Japanese word umeboshi is translated into English as "fermented plums", however the actual condiment umeboshi in Japan is made from immature apricots. We don't have the correct ume apricots in the West, but fermenting either plums or apricots will make a nice pickle that can be used  as umeboshi. Fill a jar with either plums or apricots and salt water made in a ratio of 1 tablespoon of sea salt to each cup of water. Umeboshi are very salty and are used on the plate instead of a salt shaker. The Japanese especially like to put a fermented umeboshi into a serving of white rice for the visual presentation it makes. Plums would work better for this that apricots. Pack the fruit into the brine (salty water) so that the water covers the fruit. Cover with an airlock and leave for at least 3 months for the plums and a year for the apricots.

Sloes are related to plums and can be used to make a salty pickle. Fill a with sloes and add salt water in a ration of a teaspoon per cup of water. Press the sloes into the brine and cover with an airlock.


Plum Wine
Fill a crockpot up with plums.
Cover with water and let simmer, covered,  until soft
Turn off heat and strain through a fine sieve or piece of cotton cloth to remove seeds and skins.
Add 1 pound of sugar for each half gallon of liquid.
Transfer to glass bottles.
Cover with an airlock.
Put in an undisturbed place and let set for at least 6 months, but a year is better.
If you don't use sulphur (Campden tablets), you don't need to rack the wine off the sediment until you are ready to drink it. You run the risk of occasional  contamination in the form of malo-fermented (fizzy) wine, vinegar or lacto-fermented wine if you don't use sulphur. I would rather take my chances and take what I get (I can always use a good wine vinegar) rather than add bitter sulphur to my sweet wine.

Plum and Apple Pie
Cut plums into sections and mix half and half with apples and make as you would apple pie, or add some white flour and sugar and put into
pie crust.


The Dandelion Celebration: A Guide to Unexpected Cuisine   by Peter Gail
Truly Cultured Rejuvenating Taste, Health and Community With Naturally Fermented Foods by Nancy Bentley
Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz. 

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