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BOTTLED PLUMS (WHOLE/HALVED/SLICED)

Preserve homegrown (or locally sourced) plums to enjoy all year long!  Select richly coloured, firm and delicious plums suitable for eating fresh or cooking for bottling in jars with syrup or water. Perfect for adding to salads, savoury and sweet dishes, including serving atop yoghurt or ice-cream, or simply snacking directly from the jar. Enjoy! 
 
Ingredients for BOTTLED PLUMS (WHOLE, HALVED OR SLICED)
 
Yield: 1 litre
(4 cups)
Yield: 4.5 litres
(18 cups)
Yield: 7 litres
(28 cups)
Plums
900g  
(2 pounds)
4kg  
(9 pounds)
6.3kg  
(14 pounds)
Sugar Syrup,
OR Water
see Syrup Chart below (choose very light, light, or medium syrup)
OR water
 
METHOD:
1.  Sterilise all equipment by washing in hot soapy water and rinsing well before use. 
2.  Use firm, ripe plums for bottling. Wash plums and drain well. Remove stems and blemishes. Leave whole or cut in half and remove pits. Repeat with remaining fruit.
Plums can be sliced if preferred (whole/halved is recommended to preserve their shape/texture).
To prevent whole plums from splitting, prick the skin of each plum with a fork a couple of times.
3.  Cover jars with water and bring to a boil, boiling for 10 minutes. Once the time is up, turn the heat off and leave jars in the hot water until ready to fill.
4.  Place lids into a bowl of boiled water. Remove the lids from the water when you are ready to place them onto the jars to seal.  
5.  Prepare very light, light, or medium syrup by heating sugar and water together in a pan on medium heat, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring syrup to a boil then remove from heat.
6.  Fruit can be packed into jars via hot pack method OR cold/raw pack method:
HOT PACK (RECOMMENDED):
7.  Remove jars from hot water and place onto a heatproof surface i.e. tea towel.
8.  Place prepared plums into syrup pan and bring back to a boil. Remove from heat and fill jars immediately. Repeat, heating remaining plums (if required for larger batches). Fill jars with hot plums, filling to 1.25cm (1/2 inch) from the rim of each jar.
TIP: use a jar funnel to fill jars and layer plum halves cut side down, to pack jars tightly.
RAW PACK:
7.  Remove jars from hot water and place onto a heatproof surface i.e. tea towel.
8.  Fill jars with prepared raw plums, filling to 1.25cm (1/2 inch) from the rim of each jar.
TIP: use a jar funnel to fill jars and layer plum halves cut side down, to pack jars tightly.
9.  Fill jars with hot syrup/juice, filling to 1.25cm (1/2 inch) from the rim of each jar.
10.  Using a non-metal utensil, remove any bubbles and add more hot syrup/water if required to correct the headspace if it dropped below 1.25cm (1/2 inch) from the jar rim. Excess syrup can be frozen for later use.
11.  Wipe jar rims with a damp paper towel to remove any food residue.
12.  Remove lids from hot water and seal jars i.e. twist to secure “fingertip tight”.
13.  Process jars in water bath or pressure canner as per charts below:
BOILING WATER CANNER (WATER BATH):
14.  Place jars of plums into the pot of boiling water and boil for the processing time stated  below. Start the timer once the water comes back to a full boil.
15.  Turn off the heat source once the time is up. Remove jars from hot water after 5 more minutes. Cool jars overnight on a heatproof surface i.e. wooden board or towel. Do not adjust lids during this time.
PRESSURE CANNING (DIAL OR WEIGHTED GAUGE):
14.  Place sealed jars into the pressure canner and secure the pressure canner lid. Put onto heat and vent for 5 minutes (begin timing once the white steam is constant). Then add weights (or cover) and bring to the required pressure level for your altitude (see charts below). Once the pressure is reached, process for the time stated in the charts below for your altitude. Reduce/increase the heat source to keep the pressure at the constant level.
15.  Turn off the heat source once the time is up. Allow the pressure canner to return to zero and then remove the lid (be careful, lid and canner will be very hot). After 5 more minutes, remove jars from the pressure canner and place them onto a heatproof surface (i.e. wood board or a towel). Do not adjust lids during this time.
16.  After 12-24 hours: check jars have sealed before labelling and dating clearly.
17.  Store jars of bottled plums in a cool, dark and dry place (i.e. pantry) for up to 12 months. Jar lids should remain tightly sealed during storage, and not flex up or down when pressed (which indicates jar seal failure, do not consume).
18.  Refrigerate jars upon opening and consume contents within 5 days. Best served chilled.

A reference chart to assist with syrup preparation. Fills 7 quarts (7 x 1L) of fruit.
RAW PACK: Heat ingredients together to make syrup, pour hot syrup over raw fruit in jar.
HOT PACK: Heat ingredients together to make syrup, add fruit and bring to boil, simmer fruit until hot. Fill jars with hot fruit and syrup.
SYRUP CHART
 
SUGAR
%
WATER
100% FRUIT JUICE (i.e. APPLE OR
WHITE GRAPE)
SUGAR (RAW, WHITE OR BROWN)
STEVIA POWDER
WATER
0%
10 cups
 
 
 
STEVIA
 
10 cups
 
 
1/4 cup
LOW-CAL FRUIT JUICE
 
5 cups
5 cups
 
 
LOW SUGAR FRUIT JUICE
 
7 cups
3 cups
1/4 cup
1/4 cup
100% FRUIT JUICE
(i.e. APPLE
OR WHITE GRAPE
 
 
10 cups
 
 
SWEETENED FRUIT JUICE
 
 
10 cups
 
1/4 cup
VERY LIGHT SYRUP
10%
10 1/2 cups
 
1 1/4 cups
 
LIGHT SYRUP
20%
9 cups
 
2 1/4 cups
 
MEDIUM SYRUP
30%
8 1/4 cups
 
3 3/4 cups
 
 

 

Processing Time for  BOTTLED PLUMS (WHOLE/HALVED/SLICED)  in a Boiling Water Canner
 
Jar Size
Altitude
1,000 feet
Altitude 1,001 - 3,000 feet
Altitude 3,001
- 6,000 feet
Altitude
6,000 feet
Hot Pack and Raw Pack
500ml
(pints)
20 minutes
25 minutes
30 minutes
35 minutes
1 Litre
(quarts)
25 minutes
30 minutes
35 minutes
40 minutes
 
Processing Time for  BOTTLED PLUMS (WHOLE/HALVED/SLICED)
in a Weighted Gauge Pressure Canner

Altitude Pressure Levels
Packing Style
Jar Size
Processing Time
0-1000ft
>1000ft
Hot Pack
& Raw Pack
1 Litre
(quarts)
10 minutes
5lb
10lb
 
Processing Time for  BOTTLED PLUMS (WHOLE/HALVED/SLICED)
in a Dial Gauge Pressure Canner

Altitude Pressure Levels
Packing Style
Jar Size
Processing Time
0-2000ft
2001-4000ft
4001-6000ft
6001-8000ft
Raw Pack
& Hot Pack
1 Litre
(quarts)
10 minutes
6lb
7lb
8lb
9lb
 
NOTES:
o  Only bottle very firm plums – save overripe/soft fruit for jam, juice/jelly etc;
o  Add other flavouring/s i.e. allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, lemon, nutmeg, orange, port, or vanilla bean (or several of these) – a sprinkle per jar (a little goes a long way)
o  Apple/grape/peach/pear juice (one or combination of these) can be used instead of syrup/water.
 
SERVING IDEAS:
o  Cake;
o  Couscous;
o  Crepes;
o  Fruit crumble/cobbler;
o  Ice-cream topping;
o  Muffins;
o  Pancakes;
o  Porridge/oatmeal;
o  Rice pudding;
o  Salads;
o  Semolina pudding;
o  Smoothies;
o  Stirfry;
o  Waffles;
o  Yoghurt topping.
 
Author: Megan Radaich          
Image Credit: Megan Radaich          
 
Acknowledgement 
Kaya Wanjoo. Food Preserving kaditj kalyakoorl moondang-ak kaaradj midi boodjar-ak nyininy, yakka wer waabiny, Noongar moort. Ngala kaditj baalap kalyakoorl nidja boodjar wer kep kaaradjiny, baalap moorditj nidja yaakiny-ak wer moorditj moort wer kaditj Birdiya wer yeyi.
Hello and Welcome. Food Preserving acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live, work and play, the Nyoongar people. We recognise their connection to the land and local waterways, their resilience and commitment to community and pay our respect to Elders past and present.
 
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