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Old 07-14-2010, 02:12 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daizymae
We have a couple of crabapple trees and they do make fabulous jelly. The colour is sensational. Jewel-like. I feel guilty eating it...
Used to get mine from a neighbor...Nice size fruit...She cut it down!! ~~ The wife bought me two Crab Apple trees several years ago...I was excited....Turned out they were Flowering Crab Apples..More of an ornamental tree than a fruit producer..Grrrrrrrrrrrr! They make a very tiny fruit, and the birds love them. Beautiful tree in the spring...just not a Jelly maker. ~~ Wild Plums are scarce too...Used to be a Jillion of them along fence rows, in thickets etc...They were everywhere....Now just here and there....
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Old 07-14-2010, 02:50 PM   #32
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unka bob, would you call damson plums a type of the wild plums you were talking about? i've had those, both fresh and in white lightning, and both were delicious.

especially after a few of the latter under my belt.

my favourite jam/jelly is a polish brand of blackberry jam that i can't recall the name. it probably ended in -sko or -ski, lol.

and i'm still partial to good ol' smuckers grape jelly, and i love apricot jam with pork.
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:29 PM   #33
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BT..I would not equate the Damson plum (that I know very little off) with the Wild Plums that grew everywhere in my part of the South...They were small plums.. dime size..a few as big as a nickel..... The trees were bush type.. not very tall...They seem to prosper along fence rows...Driving down a rural country road they were everywhere...Also you would find them in "plum thickets" ...One such thicket over in a pasture of ours covered probably two acres..This was an exception of course not the rule...Most "thickets" were smaller...The fruit would appear late spring, early summer, green, and hard as a rock. Some kids would eat them green with salt..Eat too many and you had a belly ache or at the very least the Green Plum Quick-Step. The fruit ripened to several shades of red...occasionally you would find a tree that produced Yellow ripe fruit...These were somewhat favored for their additional sweetness.....Where they came from...I dunno...Spread by bird dropping perhaps...Birds setting on the fence or on power lines above....Where they went, I can't find anyone with any definitive answers..Modern roads?..At one time I could ride a bicycle 5 minutes from my house, and come back with a 5 gallon bucket full...Now if you don't know where a "thicket" is that no one else knows about...you're out of luck.
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:33 PM   #34
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Aha, crab apple makes an awesome preserve too, you cook the whole fruit, though I always had issues with seeds in the end, and probably would prefered it cleaned before hand, but then it becomes too much of a chore.
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:43 PM   #35
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White Bing cherry preserve

White Bing Cherries 2 lb
Sugar 2 lb
Lemon 2
Water 1 cup
Citric Acid a pinch

Pool out the stems and wash the cherries. The cherries have to be pitted, I have a plastic piece, I think it is called cherry pitter, I picked up in one of the cooking stores for about $10 bucks or less, works wonders, just make sure that you put the cherry with the side where the stem was down.
When cherries are finally pitted poor the water into the pot, I prefer using rather larger non-stick pot, seems to be working the best for me, though neither my mother or my grandmother ever had non-stick pots and they never had problem with jam/preserve/jelly ever sticking to the bottom of the pot, no such luck for me. The larger the pot the less chances that the content will over boils and thus less cleaning to do in the end.

Oops, did not mean to tell family history, back to recipe. Boil water then add sugar, mix constantly, you should lower the heat. When sugar boils add cherries and bring to boil again, when the whole thing boils turn the heat up and cook for about an hour. While it’s cooking steer often. Just like in the soup you should pick the dirty foam forming on the top surface in preserve making you should pick the white foam forming on the top surface. It is not garbage though it is a pure sugar, I love that stuff and always collect and set aside. While all of this cooking you will need to boil one lemon. Put it into cold water bring to a boil and let it boil for about 5 minutes or so. This will help to make skin not biter. Peel the skin from the other lemon. Slice both into somewhat thin slices, not too thin and add to pot about 20 minutes before the preserve is ready, like 40 minutes into cooking. When it gets close to the hour start checking the readiness, depending on how fast or slow you boil the thing it will affect the final time count. When ready add citric acid mix well and let it cook for couple more minutes. Poor into hot jars when hot, let it cool, cover, store in dry cool place for up the time you ate the whole batch.
Now couple of notes. The first time I was making preserve I let it boil the way I boil soup, very slow, wrong. It should really boil, not rolling boil, but you should see constant bubbles, the clue is by the end you should have about half as much volume as you started. Just like when you make meat stock. It is better to overcook preserve than undercook. Though there is a very fine line between two. If you undercook it will be runny and even may get moldy, if you over cook too much it may become a solid chunk of sugar. The simple test to check if it is done is to drop a tiny drop of liquid onto your thumb nail and turn it upside down; if it is cooked right it will stay and not drop. The jars you have few options, you can process them as if for caning, simply poor boiling water over, I like to run them thru dishwasher and time it so they are dry when it’s time to poor the preserve. Using funnel definitely helps, though I am yet to buy one. Before closing the jars the preserve should be fully cooled or you will have moisture form under the lid and that is a big no-no for storing. Also make sure the jar is clean before covering, wipe it with a damp cloth, do not let any water get inside.

You can cook read cherries the same way or you can skip the lemon, I’ve done it both ways.
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Old 07-14-2010, 06:06 PM   #36
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Thanks for the recipe Charlie. Do you ever make Lekvar (plum or prune butter)? Some of the Lekvar from Hungary goes pretty well on pancakes, noodles, or in pastries. For some of your jam making adventures, you might investigate the use of paraffin for sealing out air and moisture.
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Old 07-14-2010, 06:30 PM   #37
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Uncle Bob, I can't say why you don't see a lot of wild plum thickets, but if there's none along the fences or roads in straight lines, it is because nobody's planting them. It's too bad. Also, the "wild plum" seedlings you buy at the nursery now are, I'm told, not necessarily 100% wild. They have some cultivated-plum genes from having been planted in yards as pollinators. If you want real wild plums, you have to go deep into some uncivilized place.

Now, Bob, if you went out on your bike and came back with a 5-gallon bucket o' plums, what did you do with the bike? Surely you aren't telling us you somehow mounted 40 lb. of plums in a giant bucket on your bicycle.
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Old 07-14-2010, 07:04 PM   #38
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With a little bit of ingenuity one can carry a well balanced forty pound load of cargo on a decent bike.
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Old 07-14-2010, 07:56 PM   #39
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I only purchase jams that are thickened through reduction - rather than with added pectin. Of course this requires roughly three times as much fruit, so there are no mass-market varieties I know of. Some local farms here make them, and the $6/cup price is WELL worth it. Low-temperature reduction in the oven (or on netted trays in the sun) preserves the aromas of summer.

Not to say I don't like pectin jellies... pepper jelly made with sweet red bells and a hot chile is an absolute favorite of mine. I love it with lavender scented goat-cheese.
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:59 PM   #40
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Bill, I make plum jam, but not Lekvar. My jam is really great on toast, or mixed with farmers cheese, my all time favorite breakfast, well, one of favorites. It is also good with pancakes. Last year I over cooked pretty bad it end up being really hard. Worked really well as filling for pirozhkies and turnovers.
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