Here on our farm (aka our home in the suburbs) we have an Italian plum tree. Though we live in a climate that isn't conducive to growing fruit we've been lucky. This tree has been, well, fruitful. It is a dwarf self-pollinating tree which is perfect for our property.
We've eaten some of the plums straight off the tree. But we won't be able to eat all the fruit before it goes bad. Thus some sort of preservation is needed.
This year I decided to try spiced plum butter. Even the name sounds delectable -- something one might spread on a fresh scone on a cold December morning; coffee in one hand, scone in the other, wrapped in a blanket and watching the snow fall. Oh I can't wait!
I altered the recipe a touch to use what we already had in our kitchen. I used three cinnamon sticks instead of one, substituted a 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves for the whole cloves and used 1 2/3 cup sugar instead of the recommended 2 cups (I'm suspecting I could have gotten away with even less).
We ended up with six half pint jars; five canned and one in the fridge for immediate use. I sterilized the jars in a boiling water bath. It just felt like the right thing to do.
I'm thrilled with the fruit we've grown thus far (plums, peaches and apricots). Today the hubbie and I came up with a plan to renovate our side yard and turn it into a mini-orchard. Cherries and apples and pears, oh my!