Canning these decadent spiced plums is a great treat for the winter. Warming spices and a splash of brandy take these plums to the next level!
Plums are a favorite fruit around these parts and I do all kinds of yummy things with them.
Plum Apple Sauce.
Plum BBQ Sauce.
But one of our favorite canned plums recipes is this one for Spiced Plums.
You can use Italian plums, or wild plums, or regular ole plum plums.
This recipe uses a light syrup that is gently spiced, with an added splash of alcohol (namely Brandy) if you choose to add it.
I suppose, if you wanted to, you could skip the water altogether and just can these in straight Brandy.
These are a real treat served room temperature with pound cake or hot as a cobbler or crisp.
I image they’d be pretty good with ice cream, too. I’ll have to give that a try soon.
This recipe makes anywhere from 5 – 7 pints depending on the size of your plums and how tightly you pack them in the jar.
I usually have a little syrup left over and I’ll can that up along with the jars of plums.
The syrup is good mixed into a fruit salad or thickened up for a bread pudding sauce. Or to sweeten oatmeal or even rice pudding.
There’s no end to what we have found to do with it. I’m going to try to hide some and add it to my next batch of water kefir.
But I digress. Again.
Shall we begin?
Canning Spiced Plums Recipe
- 4 pounds of plums
- 5 c water, or if you want to get really fancy, 4 cups water and 1 cup Brandy
- 2 c honey
- 2 oranges, juice and zest
- orange zest (optional if you don’t want to zest the ones you have)
- 5 to 7 – 1″ cinnamon sticks (1 per pint jar)
- 15 to 21 cloves (3 per pint jar)
- 5 to 7 pint jars, clean and hot
- 5 to 7 rings and new lids or Tattler reusable lids, prepared following manufacturer’s instructions
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven combine the water, Brandy if you’re using it, honey, orange juice, and cinnamon sticks.
Bring that fabulous concoction to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer it for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
While that’s simmering wash, stem, and pit the plums. Depending on how big they are, cut them either in half or in quarters.
For very small plums you can leave them whole, but prick skins with the tip of a sharp knife or a fork so they don’t burst during processing. Cuz that would just be sad.
If they are small freestone plums like the damson variety, using a cherry pitter to remove the pit works really well.
After the syrup has simmered for 10 minutes, add the plum halves. Bring the plums and the syrup back to a boil, stirring frequently, then remove it from the heat.
Prepping the jars
To each hot pint jar add 3 cloves and 1 tsp of orange zest. Fish the cinnamon sticks out of the hot syrup and add one to each jar.
I usually start with the 5 jars and add more if I need to.
Hot Pack the Spiced Plums
Using the hot pack method instead of the raw pack method gives you a better finished product with more actual fruit in the jar.
When you raw pack, the juices come out and the fruit shrinks during processing and you end up with more juice than fruit. With the hot pack method, the fruit had already released a lot of juice so you get more actual fruit in the jar.
Now grab a slotted spoon and add the hot plums to the jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Try to fit them in as tightly as possible without squishing them.
Sometimes it feels a little like playing Tetris. Only with food. Hot food. That could, just possibly, burn your fingers.
Next, ladle the hot liquid (syrup or fruit juice) over the plums, using a canning funnel. The funnel not only helps get the stuff actually inside the jars, but it also helps keep the stuff off of the rims of the jars.
Then, remove the air bubbles with your handy dandy little air bubble remover thingy and top off with the syrup as needed, again, leaving 1/2″ headspace.
Wipe rims with a clean cloth dipped in vinegar (vinegar cuts through the syrup), seat the lid, and put the rings on finger tight. Fill and close the remaining jars.
Process in a boiling waterbath canner for 20 minutes for pints or quarts. Don’t forget to adjust the time according to the waterbath canning altitude chart.
Or process in a pressure canner for 10 minutes at 6 pounds pressure for pints or quarts. Don’t forget to adjust the pressure according to the pressure canning altitude chart.
After processing, remove the jars from the canner pot by lifting them straight up and put hem on a towel. Allow the jars to cool, undisturbed, 12 to 24 hours. Don’t forget to check the seals before you put the jars away.
What would you eat these beauties with?
More awesome canning recipes you should try:
Frequently Asked Questions About Canning Spiced Plums
Purple plums, yellow plums, Italian plums. All types of plums are good for canning! Some are a little sweeter, and some have a little more tart flavor, but they are all very similar.
Wild plums and damsons are really easy to pit while whole with a cherry pitter, while others you have to cut in half to remove it.
The least expensive plums are at the peak of the season when there are more available, although I’m always waiting impatiently for harvest season to start.
Yes, you can reduce the sweetness if it’s too much for your taste.
Yes, absolutely! And I would suggest that you do if toddlers might be enjoying this treat. (Without the brandy, of course!)
You can just use 2 cups of sugar instead of the honey.
- 4 lbs plums
- 5 c water OR 4 c water and 1 c Brandy
- 2 c honey
- 2 oranges juiced, and zested (more zest may be necessary)
- 5 – 7 1″ cinnamon sticks
- 15 – 21 cloves
- In a large pot combine water, Brandy if you are using it, honey, orange juice, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- While that’s simmering wash and pit the plums. Depending on size cut them either in half or in quarters. For very small plums you can leave them whole, but prick the skins so they don’t burst during processing.
- After the syrup has simmered for 10 minutes, add the plums. Bring the plums and syrup back to a boil, stirring frequently, and remove from heat.
- To each pint jar add 3 cloves and 1 tsp or orange zest. Fish the cinnamon sticks out of the syrup and add one to each jar.
- Now add the plums to the jar leaving 1/2″ of headspace. Try to fit them in as tightly as possible without squishing them.
- Cover the plums with the hot syrup. Remove the air bubbles and top off with syrup as needed, again, leaving 1/2″ headspace.
- Wipe the rim with a clean cloth dipped in vinegar, and adjust the lid. Fill and close remaining jars.
- Process in a boiling waterbath canner for 20 minutes for pints or quarts. Or process in a pressure canner for 10 minutes at 6 pounds pressure for pints or quarts. Whichever canner you use, don’t forget to adjust the time or pressure according to the altitude chart.
- After processing, allow the jars to cool, undisturbed, 12 to 24 hours. Check the seals before you put the jars in storage.