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plum crazy ~ part deux

I’ve been wanting to tell you and haven’t found the time. Tomorrow, laundry’s done, beds made, bills paid, bags packed, our pups are in the tenderest of hands, we’re sliding ourselves into plane seats to head across the country, across the sea, to Europe for three weeks. One week in Berlin, two in France. (Business gets us there, pleasure keeps us.) This will be our longest (most ♥ glorious!) vacation ever.

but first…

Plums on the tree, plums on the ground, plums in the fruit bin in the fridge. We couldn’t leave town  (well, he could)  without treating them right. And so this morning, on the day before we fly this coop, with dozens of things yet to do, here i am, making jam. Honestly! if that isn’t the height of

plum crazy

it’s got to be close!

This is my second batch of this particular jam, and it’s, well, sort of out of this world and into the next!

There will be but one photo

(because I’m only just so crazy)

and because I’ve already shared with you the basics of plum jam in a recent post.

This jam though is made without the ginger and warming spices of the last one (which was delicious), and in their place steps

Lavender, lovely lovely Lavender!

~ ~ ~

The very thought of lavender is quieting,

Calming.

You can sleep on it, bathe in it, and ought to if you (like moi!) are a bit wigged out!

And who among us hasn’t been pacified by a piece of toast smeared with seductively sweet jam?

This jam may even do it one better.

~ ~ ~

But before the recipe, a NOTE  to you before we fly  –

I’ll be uploading photos while we’re away. At this point I can’t predict whether I’ll actually post to this blog, or simply do a continuing photo story on Facebook. If you’re interested in seeing parts of our trip (Berlin, Paris, Provence, Burgundy) you can Like me on Facebook.

In any event, I will miss this connection with you and will be eager to share when we get back home!

My fellow-blogger friends, I’ll likely be able to read your posts but not offer much comment. If you see me liking you, know that I truly do! 🙂 

~ ~ ~

Lavender Plum Jam 

fills approximately 2 pint jars – possibly 2½ – or 5 half-pint jars

  • a total of 4 pounds ripe plums (or plums & plucots mixed)– pitted and diced
  • 1  cup lavender sugar (to make your own, see note at bottom of post)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons strained fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon slightly crushed culinary lavender

NOTE: If you prefer to make a freezer jam, you can ignore the canning steps and simply fill your jars with cooked jam, allow to cool, and then place in the freezer.

Sterilize the jars and keep them hot in the canning pot.  Place a small plate in the freezer (to be used for testing readiness of the cooked jam later.) Put the flat lids of the jars in a heatproof bowl and set aside.

Place the diced plums and plucots, along with 2 sugars, in a wide 6- to 8-quart pot. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently, then continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Pour the contents of the pot into a colander set over a large bowl and stir the fruit gently to release the juices into the bowl.

Pour the juices back into the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon slightly crushed culinary lavender.  Stirring frequently, boil until the syrup is reduced and thick, 10 minutes or so more. (Be ready with your nose. This will smell like heaven…not flowery… but like heaven!)

Return the fruit and any accumulated juices to the pot. Add the lime juice and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until a small dab of the jam spooned onto the cold plate and set in the freezer for a minute becomes somewhat firm. (It won’t have gelled.) Generally about 15 minutes of cooking time will do. Remove the pot from the heat.

Ladle boiling water from the canning pot into the heatproof bowl with lids. Using a jar lifter, pull thesterilized jars from the canning pot, carefully pouring the water from them back into the pot.  Place them upright on a folded towel.

Ladle the hot jam into the jars, leaving ¼-inch headroom at the top. Using a damp paper towel, wipe the rim of the jar, then place on the flat lid and ring and screw on only finger-tight. Now place the jars into the water bath, making sure to have the jars covered by at least one inch of water. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes to process. Lift the jars from the canner, placing them on a folded towel. Leave undisturbed for 12 hours.

After one hour check to make sure that the flat lid has sealed by pressing down on the center of it. If it can be pushed down, it hasn’t sealed – no harm done – but the jar should be refrigerated or frozen right away. Sealed jars of jam will store nicely on your pantry shelves for a year.

You might try a heaping spoonful atop crusty toasted bread & your favorite soft or creamy cheese {like goat!}. I can’t imagine you’d be sorry you did!

~ ~ ~

To print a copy of the recipe, click here.

~ ~ ~

NOTE: to make  lavender sugar  (a treat more scrumptious than perhaps you can imagine!) :    Place 1 Tablespoon culinary lavender (you can find sources on line) along with 1 Tablespoon sugar in a little spice grinder. Whir til all the bits are fully incorporated into the sugar. (This will be a fine lavender-y powder.) Now stir this in with 2 cups of granulated sugar. Mix thoroughly. Store in a lidded jar. Wait about 2 days before using, and then use frequently – on sliced fruits (berries, peaches)! Dusting cookies. In your tea. In dozens of desserts to replace regular sugar. Once you’ve tasted this sweetness you’ll figure it out!

38 Comments Post a comment
  1. Have the most fabulous, wonderful trip ever! Three weeks is a long time to be away, so I’m sure you’ll come back with lots of new taste treats.

    E N J O Y !

    September 14, 2012
    • Ronnie, thank you so much! Its the trip we’ve dreamed of for a long long time! 🙂

      September 14, 2012
  2. oh wow! I am so excited for you! Have fun, let go and enjoy Europe to the max! =>

    September 14, 2012
    • You’re sweet! Thank you. Hardly seems real…but it’s about to! 😀

      September 14, 2012
  3. Weeee!! have a wonderful flight.. looking forward to seeing your photos, spree! Enjoy!!! But come back to us! xx

    September 14, 2012
    • The flight may be a tad less than wonderful, but once we hit the ground weeeee! It’s a trip of our dreams! : ) ! xx

      September 14, 2012
  4. Ali #

    This jam and this trip sound like complete and utter perfection. So happy for you!! Can’t wait for the photos and the stories to come!!! Xoxo

    September 14, 2012
    • Well, Ali, the jam is maybe the best I’ve ever made….love love love this jam. So does the Guinea Pig who is definitely NOT a jam kind of rodent! 🙂 And the trip, So anxious to see, to savor and to share!!! xxx!!!!!

      September 14, 2012
  5. Mari Anna #

    Soak it up Antoinette!
    Words cannot describe how I miss Europe . Enjoy!

    September 14, 2012
    • It’ll be pure joy for us MariAnna. I wish you could make it back home sooner than later!!!

      September 15, 2012
  6. I can smell this from here! I so empathize with the last-minute jam making, that is always me too. Have a wonderful vacation! 🙂

    September 14, 2012
    • Emmy thanks for commiserating! It’s a sickness I fear! 😉 (but I can say this jam was worth the crazies. Wish I could’ve brought a jar along! 🙂 )
      And thanks too for the well-wishes! See you soon!

      September 15, 2012
  7. Have a good trip and enjoy a few good glasses in Burgundy:)

    September 14, 2012
    • Seriously doubtful that we’ll restrict it to a few! We’ll start there and see what happens….
      Thanks again Roger for such good ideas!

      September 15, 2012
  8. And you’re not coming to see me? whatever, man… haha. This sounds delicious.You’ve got me thinking about my plum tree again!

    September 15, 2012
    • Oh Nick, I’m SO glad you said something! Berlin was our second choice…YOU were our first! See you tomorrow then! (oh what luck! we have Six days to share!) 😀
      (on a different, but also very good, note, this jam is outrageously good so I’ll help you whip up a batch while we’re there !)

      September 15, 2012
  9. Dear friend, have a most wonderful time across the sea! I can’t wait to see your photos splashed across facebook… xox

    September 15, 2012
    • Movita! Thank you so much! We just sat in our seats and are just 7 hrs from THERE! Thinking of you so often these days my fine and funny friend!! I’m applauding you (can you hear?) see you soon luv! xx

      September 15, 2012
  10. Looks delicious ^.^~

    September 15, 2012
  11. This jam looks luscious!!! I am so excited for you both, what a wow trip and Berlin a place I have yet to visit but by all accounts it is so arty – you will love it I am sure…. Safe journey and we look forward to your Spree Snippets as and when you can, ENJOY :)!!!!!!!

    September 15, 2012
    • On the plane and theyre about ready to close the hatches! We are SO excited – you’d think we were kids! (well I suppose we are.) 🙂 we will SO enjoy!! xx

      September 15, 2012
      • sweet dreams on the flight :)x

        September 15, 2012
  12. deb schneider #

    Only you could pull this off! You are in the air – yay!! Much love & prayers for a wonderful trip from beginning to end 🙂

    September 15, 2012
    • Thank you friend! Start of Day 3 – maybe today will be the day I get my days and nights straight! (or maybe it will be the night I play in the park again.) 🙂 xo

      September 16, 2012
  13. Safe and happy travels!

    September 16, 2012
  14. Have a super holiday! You know it is a quite a small world, as we are also going to Europe for a couple of weeks. I know we will spot each other right away as we will be the 2 people standing on our chairs trying to get the best photo shot of our food. Amazing plum jam and have a super trip. Take care, BAM

    September 16, 2012
    • Well Bam, that’s going to have me thinking of standing on my chair with Every meal so as to meet you. Maybe less conspicuous though, how about I wear a piece of salad behind my ear?
      Wishing you a joyous journey too Bam!

      September 16, 2012
      • Righto! Looking for the salad dangling from your ear. Have a super holiday. BAM

        September 16, 2012
  15. Bon voyage Spree !! I hope you have a super trip. and where in France please 🙂

    September 16, 2012
    • Thank you Claire! In France – Paris, Avignon, St Remy, (Arles, Nimes, L’Isle sur la Sorgue, Camarque), Vaison la Romaine, Lyon, Beaune (touring Burgundy), and back to Paris. We’ve spent a few days in Paris several years ago, but this will be our first time visiting Provence or Burgundy – we hope we’ve made good choices! We’ll soon be finding out! 🙂

      September 17, 2012
      • It sounds wonderful, and anywhere in France is great, but then I am biaised 🙂

        September 18, 2012
        • I know i will be too Claire!! 🙂

          September 18, 2012
  16. gorgeous pictures Spree. I hope you have a ridiculously awesome time away 🙂

    September 20, 2012
  17. Your jam and the accompanying photos look fantastic, Spree. By now, you’re across The Pond and I hope having the vacation of a lifetime. I’m going to make sure I’m a follower of yours on Facebook so I can see your photos. Take care and don’t hurry back! 🙂

    September 22, 2012
  18. Have a safe and wonderful trip Ani!
    I can’t wait for those amazing pictures. I need to get some good plums to try all these wonderful recipes. You see, apples have invaded the market and it is hard to find plums here nowadays but I will keep trying

    September 22, 2012
  19. I know you are having a wonderful time. I’ll be leaving for Europe just about the time you are returning home…I can’t wait to catch up on your adventures when I return.

    September 30, 2012
  20. carolyn #

    I love this lavender plum jam and prefer to eat it for all eternity.

    October 30, 2012

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