Friday, July 2, 2010

Avalanche of Summer Fruit

  All Winter and Spring long, I knew this would happen, and I was a little nervous, but it's so much easier with someone helping!  Absolutely EVERYTHING is ripe this week!  When I took this picture, wild blackberry preserves were cooling on the far table, white nectarines--preserved in the foreground and raw in the very back--are ready and blueberries from down the road were in the kettle.
Abby was pitting plums most of the afternoon, a tedious process, and with these Santa Rosa plums, the pit is half the fruit!  But we ended up with over 35 pound of fruit from 50 pounds, and it's going to be jam today.  It's one of the only fruits I need to add pectin to, to make it stand up a bit.  Cherries, peaches and plums contain absolutely no natural pectin, so they need a little help.  I count on the peaches' bulk of fruit to make up the difference, but these plums, because I mill out the peels, don't have much else to make up for it.  I just ordered--at 4:25 a.m.!--a case of Granny Smith apples to make apple pectin before I cook these to jam.  Equal pounds of green apples cooked whole in water, strained twice, will make enough pectin to the weight of these plums to make them set up.  Confusing sentence...  but it works.
  I brought the plums, with sugar and lemon juice, to their first boil late yesterday, and the color afterwards was so beautiful!  But I wanted to get home, so no photo.  Maybe today!
  I will leave you with the color of white nectarine preserves, glowing orange in their jars.

We spooned this over our pancakes at lunch, and it was like biting into summer.


LA said...

I need to go pick a bucket of blackberries while it's still cool this morning. You've been VERY busy, my friend!!!

Tina said...

Yummy! I can just taste it! Summer is just a glorious time.

Life Looms Large said...

Wow - no wonder your blog header has a category for jam!! I'm impressed (and now, hungry!)