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Eatsy: Preserving Summer’s Lingering Fruits

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The first day of fall has come and gone, and in its honor we gathered this past Monday for the first public Eatsy Food Lab at our Brooklyn offices. Autumnal equinoxes have been happening for sometime, but our food labs are new, and, we hope, equally as significant.

Eatsy Labs will cover a range of culinary subjects. The idea is to provide hands-on how-to’s for the foodies among you, and to nourish and encourage cookery. To kick off the series, we focused on the traditional and seasonally appropriate act of preserving. Summer is now officially behind us, but its fruits linger and we’re all well advised to take advantage. At Eatsy we believe in the sound practices of home economics, and preserving prevents waste (who can eat all these tomatoes?), takes advantage of fresh food and brightens winter’s hardy fare.

The first Lab was co-hosted with Etsy Ecology, our in-house ecological strategists. Josh Wise led the tomato canning workshop; sterilizing glass jars, blanching and peeling tomatoes with attendees, seasoning them with a little salt and lemon and then sealing the jars and re-submerging them in boiling water. His southern gentility made canning especially friendly and inviting; the bandanna he tied around his head made him authoritative. While Josh is an advocate of canning and all things green, he did some research before leading the class and recommends you read this good canned tomato recipe for a clear and thorough introduction.

labs-gathering.jpg

Josh leads a tomato canning session.

I demonstrated two jamming techniques for plums — one quick and easy, the other requiring slightly more time to achieve a plummier essence. We sniffed and mused about what flavors to add, sampled the fruits and decided to go simple.

A note before you begin: preserving is easy and fun but there are important do’s and dont’s to keep in mind for your health. Familiarize yourself with the basics of jamming and water bath canning at PickYourOwn.org.

Quick Plum Preserves

Ingredients:
2 pounds firm black plums
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 stick cinnamon, star anise or orange peel

plums.jpg

Halve the plums and remove the pits.

In a large bowl, toss the plums with the sugar and water. Transfer to a heavy saucepan and gently simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Cook for about 1 hour, or until the liquid runs off the spoon in large, thick droplets.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Wash jars and sanitize them by submerging them in boiling water for at least 10 minutes; keep the jars warm until ready to use. Place the rings and lids in boiling water to sanitize as well; the orange gummand should soften. Keep these warm as well.

Dry the jars and the lids thoroughly. Place your cinnamon stick in the jars and pour the hot jam over top, leaving about 1/4 inch of space at the top.

Use a sanitized spoon to stir out any air bubbles. Place the lid over top and screw the rings on tight. Carefully re-submerge the jars in the boiling water so they are covered by at least 1-2 inches of water. Boil the jars for at least 10 minutes. Using the appropriate tongs, carefully remove the jars and transfer jars to a rack to cool.

Plum Jam

In this recipe, the plums are tossed with sugar and sit for a few hours or overnight so they give off their juices. The juices are then used as cooking liquid; the result is more ‘plum-y’ in taste.

Ingredients:

2 pounds plums
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 lemon

Halve and pit the plums. Cut the plums into 1/2-inch quarters. Toss the plums with the sugar and let stand in a strainer, tossing from time to time, for a few hours or overnight.

Squeeze the lemon juice over the plums. Place the plums and their juices in a non-reactive saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes.

Follow the directions in the recipe above to sterilize and fill your jars. Enjoy plum jam on toast, with cheese, in pies and cakes, or as a sweetener in sauces. Jam will keep on the shelf for months and once opened, in the fridge for 1-2 months.

  • BambuEarth

    BambuEarth says:

    YUM!!!! ♥

    4 years ago

  • natalya1905

    natalya1905 says:

    Yummy and wonderful! Thank you very much for sharing, Kitty!

    4 years ago

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts says:

    Looks good!

    4 years ago

  • papercutworks

    papercutworks says:

    My grandma used to make the most amazing plum jam... She'd work on it for days & there was enough to last a full year for all her grand kids... I might have to stick to her recipe but appreciate the reminder...

    4 years ago

  • marinebiochic07

    marinebiochic07 says:

    I love canned fruits and vegetables!

    4 years ago

  • karenjcreations

    karenjcreations says:

    Delicious!! :)

    4 years ago

  • IlluminatedPerfume

    IlluminatedPerfume says:

    Mouth watering!

    4 years ago

  • ohbabydotcom

    ohbabydotcom says:

    Oh sooo yummy!

    4 years ago

  • bysweetmom

    bysweetmom says:

    so delicious...

    4 years ago

  • ikabags

    ikabags says:

    Yes again superr yummy post ! merci :))

    4 years ago

  • ikabags

    ikabags says:

    Here is peach jam :) http://feyzadem.blogspot.com/2008/08/seftali-receli-enfes-oldu-yiam-yiam.html

    4 years ago

  • MJSGems

    MJSGems says:

    Plum jam! my favorite!!

    4 years ago

  • DecoFamara

    DecoFamara says:

    Delicious mmmmmmm

    4 years ago

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 says:

    Time for tea and toast. Yum - thanks.

    4 years ago

  • rozzie

    rozzie says:

    Great tips!! Sounds so good.

    4 years ago

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush says:

    I love how you guys cover food ::drool::

    4 years ago

  • fiveforty

    fiveforty says:

    Yum, I love plum jam!

    4 years ago

  • KMalinka

    KMalinka says:

    Yummy:O)

    4 years ago

  • carvelcountrysoaps

    carvelcountrysoaps says:

    Fantastic article! I'm going to try the recipes for sure!

    4 years ago

  • SewMuchMoreDecor

    SewMuchMoreDecor says:

    I had some fresh made fig jam from my own tree this year, yum!

    4 years ago

  • Vintage50sEyewear

    Vintage50sEyewear says:

    That looks so delicious. :)

    4 years ago

  • StudioElenus

    StudioElenus says:

    Plum preserves definitely deserve a try:)Everything sounds and looks delicious! Thank you for the article!

    4 years ago

  • gototes

    gototes says:

    I am getting ready to make some lavender and honey preserves since the lavender is at its peak in my garden. Will post some pictures and thank you for the tips!

    4 years ago

  • Pinkpjs

    Pinkpjs says:

    There is nothing better than plum jam!

    4 years ago

  • rosebudshome

    rosebudshome says:

    I have always been afraid to can but now I think I might try.

    4 years ago

  • ItsSoSue

    ItsSoSue says:

    I LOVE canning!Especially jams, so much fun with delicious results. Every year I make several batches of Cherry Jam from free cherries in my hometown.

    4 years ago

  • BlueAngelJewellery

    BlueAngelJewellery says:

    I love this article. I make my own preserves and it's always good to get more tips, thank you!

    4 years ago

  • DesignProjects

    DesignProjects says:

    yummmm jammm

    4 years ago

  • patchesnthings

    patchesnthings says:

    These recipes look delicious!

    4 years ago

  • polkadotmagpie

    polkadotmagpie says:

    Mmmmm....been canning for over a month now. Still have tons of peaches in the freezer to make into Holiday gifts. Wish I could have joined you!

    4 years ago

  • ZsBcreations

    ZsBcreations says:

    Oh, wonderful recipes!! Here is my fig jam with lemon balm and thyme: http://dutchhandmade.blogspot.com/2010/08/taste-of-summer-how-to-make-fig-jam.html

    4 years ago

  • TheUntamedHeart
  • SASessories

    SASessories says:

    yummy! i want them all!!

    4 years ago

  • ginaregina

    ginaregina says:

    and now I'm hungry

    4 years ago

  • critter01

    critter01 says:

    I haven't made jam for years. Nothing like having something thick and fruity in the winter months when there is slim pikins! Soooo will buy some off our Etsy vendors or make some up. Thank you.

    4 years ago

  • SchneiderGallery

    SchneiderGallery says:

    my saliva goes crazy!I look like someone with rabies :)

    4 years ago

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage says:

    i've wanted to preserve fruit for some time. this article has inspired me to finally do so.

    4 years ago

  • sweetjane

    sweetjane says:

    I love canning and I love how you are spreading the word!I just did 16 jars of plum jam...it is so good!! Apple sauce is great to can as well. 'tis the season!! Thanks so much!

    4 years ago

  • fernfiddlehead

    fernfiddlehead says:

    Spent every childhood summer canning and freezing everything from cherries to corn. Thanks for the memories

    4 years ago

  • Shayza

    Shayza says:

    This was my first year canning all by myself (unless you count my bf watching from the couch). I did crushed tomatoes, peach jam, salsa and 3 batches of dill pickles. Those pickles are definitely a hot commodity and are so much better than the store bought variety. I herat canning!

    4 years ago

  • GloryBDesign

    GloryBDesign says:

    When I was a child almost everything we ate came from our own garden so canning is a long time tradition in our family. This year we canned green beans, tomatoes and strawberry jam and froze 200 ears worth of corn. It's a bit of work, so well worth it! So much healthier and tastier than commercially prepared foods!

    4 years ago

  • Mclovebuddy

    Mclovebuddy says:

    love it. combinations of herbs are wonderful "canned" as well (in oil). good stuff.

    4 years ago

  • LilaJo

    LilaJo says:

    MMMMMMMMMMMM.........

    4 years ago

  • gatelinesalsa

    gatelinesalsa says:

    LOVE this article! I love to can all types of different foods! You get such a feeling of accomplishment!

    4 years ago

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 says:

    Oh, I can just about smell that luscious plum fragrance! Working on a batch of apple butter from juicy wild apples. Drying some slices, too, hung from string line. Easy peasy & so good in winter.

    4 years ago

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 says:

    Oh, I can just about smell that luscious plum fragrance! Working on a batch of apple butter made from juicy & tart wild apples. Drying some slices, too, hung on string line. So good in winter. Bon appetit!

    4 years ago

  • tinylittleforest

    tinylittleforest says:

    This sounds so great! I've been wanting to try making preserves for the longest time... but I'm SCARED. I don't want to screw up and then make everyone sick.. eek!

    4 years ago

  • lorenabr

    lorenabr says:

    Yummy looks great and I bet it taste delicious!

    4 years ago

  • iconicblue

    iconicblue says:

    Canning is sooo delicious. Tonight we're making a cake using canned bing cherries from last year and man o man are they delicious. My favorite, however, has to be the marmalade we made over the winter: Honeybell tangerine and heirloom orange marmalade with bourbon and balsalmic vinegar. It's the best thing I've ever eaten. When we make it again this winter, we'll be able to use our own homemade vanilla extract in it too. The key is to add some fun extra flavor ingredient to bring it to the next level: alcohol, vanilla, an extra type of fruit that gives a simpatico flavor. Thank you! Fun reading...

    4 years ago

  • SewnNatural

    SewnNatural says:

    Great post! THanks! There are so many delicious things to can. We started using BPA-free Weck jars - hopefully the big canning companies will stop putting the chemical in their lids!

    4 years ago

  • iconicblue

    iconicblue says:

    One more suggestion - making a fruit jam is great for cooking too! We have an apricot jam we made from a case of apricots we bought at a fruit stand last summer. We're still using it as a glaze when we cook pork. Try this: pan sear thick cut chops in a hot pan with salt/pepper (cast iron is best, if you have one), both sides, briefly, just enough to get a good brown sear, then place in the oven with a heaping layer of jam on the top. Cook at 350 degrees for a few minutes more (5-7 minutes), enough to cook it enough without overcooking. Fabulous! Or our other favorite: mix homemade jam with honey for a flavored honey spread (about half and half, or to taste). Cook it down a little on the stovetop. This is amazing on toast, biscuits, and pancakes. This is also a wonderfully unique gift idea, more than just plain ol' jam.

    4 years ago

  • akcArt

    akcArt says:

    Nothing like homemade jams, jellies, and apple butters! Another Etsy great is www.etsy.com/shop/dellicarpini Check it out!

    4 years ago

  • MyWisteriaCottage

    MyWisteriaCottage says:

    My Mom canned and made jam. I learned cause I had to help. Then I canned and my children helped. Then my daughter-ilaw helped me without my son there. And she did things just like my Mom! My son had taught her to can. Isn't that a wonderful story?

    4 years ago

  • CritterCoutureXoXo

    CritterCoutureXoXo says:

    Canning is a blast. I love that the old tradition is now a quickly-spreading trend, hopefully one that is here to stay! When I saw this article, I immediately thought of this shirt: http://www.etsy.com/listing/55604363/yes-we-can-just-food-green-print-on

    4 years ago

  • whimsywhimsical

    whimsywhimsical says:

    Always love handmade jam. Reminded me my days when strawberries are overripe and we made our own jam and spread them on toast while it's still hot! Delicious!!

    4 years ago

  • KLBVintageWares

    KLBVintageWares says:

    My jam story -- My mom had a masectomy a couple of years ago. While recovering at home (24 hours after the operation), she noticed the neighbor had all these apricots just rotting on the tree. City folk neighbors had no intention of doing anything with those lovely apricots. Mom "instructs" me, her 48-year-old daughter to retrieve the apricots -- that afternoon, we made up a wonderful bunch of apricot jam. Great Jam, and Beautiful Memory!

    4 years ago

  • CookbookAddict

    CookbookAddict says:

    There's something so sweet and simple about canning and it's such a good feeling to know exactly what your eating:)

    4 years ago

  • electricbluebird

    electricbluebird says:

    I made some delicious strawberry jalapeno jam this summer. I have 4 quince on my counter. I will probably make a jam with cardamom added. I love canning. We have access to a lot of free fruit in the country - figs, quince, blueberries, blackberries, apples and pears to name a few.

    4 years ago

  • WoodlandCottage

    WoodlandCottage says:

    I re-introduced myself to home canning this summer, the first time since I was a kid! Wow! What a blast! So many BEAUTIFUL smells, colors, tastes! And so many summer memories when the snow is flying outside. Thanks for the great recipes! Gotta get back to the kitchen, now...

    4 years ago

  • WoodlandCottage

    WoodlandCottage says:

    And KLBVintageWares, thanks for sharing your wonderful story--it brought tears to my eyes! So sweet!

    4 years ago

  • ElvenWreathsJewelry

    ElvenWreathsJewelry says:

    Reminds me of my grandmas kitchen. I love the beatiful pictures. Thanx for the plum jam recipe....will try!

    4 years ago

  • ElvenWreathsJewelry

    ElvenWreathsJewelry says:

    plum jelly recipe looks great. reminds me of my grandmas kitchen.

    4 years ago

  • therustedrose

    therustedrose says:

    That Plum Jelly recipe looks delicious - definitely a keeper. :) Thanks!

    4 years ago

  • dkshopgirl

    dkshopgirl says:

    Lovely pictures - yummy !

    4 years ago

  • beryllynn

    beryllynn says:

    If like preserves, canning, or mason jars check out my shop - I have an AWESOME Mason jar shirt which has been very popular lately!

    4 years ago

  • njnjm14522

    njnjm14522 says:

    Good news: this website (======= clothes6.us =======) we has been updated and add products and many things they abandoned their increases are welcome to visit our website. Accept cash or credit card payments, free transport. You can try oh, will make you satisfied.

    4 years ago

  • LOEL1

    LOEL1 says:

    One of my Aunts, "Can's", the best Sweet Potato's ever. I have many childhood memories of picking fruit, cleaning fruit and canning. It is a lost art that I hope will be reborn and surge to the level of being, "Viral".

    4 years ago

  • eurekapaprika

    eurekapaprika says:

    MMMMM making jam is one of my favourite things. I recently made a carrot cake jam and an apple spice jam. Perfect for Autumn!!!! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    4 years ago

  • retrolabs

    retrolabs says:

    I totally jumped into canning this summer. great way to preserve local fruits for winter eating! next I need to can tomatoes! pickyourown.org, like you mentioned, is a great resource for information, recipes, and where to find your fruits and vegetables locally!

    4 years ago

  • hurstdesigns

    hurstdesigns says:

    Wonderful! We just finished our own grape jam from our vines and moving on now to the plethora of pears! Way to eat local and encourage others. Thanks Etsy. :)

    4 years ago

  • CucumberBeanCannery

    CucumberBeanCannery says:

    I'm so glad you made this post! Canning local fruits and veggies is so good in so many ways. Yum!

    4 years ago

  • HelenesDreams

    HelenesDreams says:

    I did some pickling for this first time this summer! I also made lots of freezer jam with fresh Oregon berries. Seriously yummy! Thanks for sharing!

    4 years ago

  • coup

    coup says:

    About 2 weeks ago at Whole Foods in Manhattan, red plums were $1 for 2 lbs!!! I ended up juicing mine in my Breville Juice Fountain, but this post would have been helpful for making jam.

    4 years ago

  • BarkerChocolateBox

    BarkerChocolateBox says:

    It isw the Best way to Eat!! Thanks for sharing!I love to can and enjoy eating what I grew!

    4 years ago

  • belleskincare

    belleskincare says:

    I've learned how to can from my Grandma who is now 90, and I've taught my daughter to can. Hopefully it will be passed on from generation to generation.

    4 years ago

  • Fibrillaria

    Fibrillaria says:

    Plums make wonderful jam, cooked without any sugar they take constant stirring - but after 2 hours or so it becomes very thick and gooey - perfect as a topping when baking cookies!

    4 years ago

  • 3pearls

    3pearls says:

    I just ordered some caramels from Fusion Sweets. I couldn't resist!

    4 years ago

  • PurplePumpkins

    PurplePumpkins says:

    Lovely to see this in the 'how to's as making jam is simpler than most people think. I hope it encourages more people to have a stab!

    4 years ago

  • tricotaria

    tricotaria says:

    I do the same!I usually preserve seasonal fruit when it is abundant. And then we have delicious homemade jams during the other seasons.

    4 years ago

  • doingitherself

    doingitherself says:

    iconicblue, I want that recipe for marmalade!

    4 years ago

  • doingitherself

    doingitherself says:

    Thanks Eatsy, the workshop was fun! I can't wait to try it at home.

    4 years ago

  • tippleandsnack

    tippleandsnack says:

    I've got the labels!

    4 years ago

  • ravenhaired

    ravenhaired says:

    Mmmmmm...looks delicious. While you guys were doing that I made apple butter! So good on homemade whole wheat toast...

    4 years ago

  • CanningCrafts

    CanningCrafts says:

    My husband & I are lucky enough to have our own apple tree, so we've been canning like crazy lately! And there's still so much left to do, so I've been pushing apples onto everyone so nothing goes to waste. I just wish I could say the same for my tomatoes this year—I had a very hungry groundhog who loved my garden so much that he burrowed under my porch! So I'm happy that I at least have several bushels of apples to preserve now :D

    4 years ago

  • joyceweaver

    joyceweaver says:

    I have had a vegetable garden and have preserved fresh fruit & vegetables all my life. We were blessed with an unusually wonderful bounty of fruit this summer in the Texas Hill Country, from my house, neighbors and family so I was able to put up lots of different jams & jellies. Except I was going through cancer radiation treatments at the same time so canning wasn't so much fun this year but the preserves taste that much better.

    4 years ago

  • MademoiselleG

    MademoiselleG says:

    Thank's for sharing the receipe! Looks yummy :-)

    4 years ago

  • asundrynotion

    asundrynotion says:

    SewnNatural's tip about BPA-free canning jar lids is a good one and new to me. Thank you! Also, using the very old school method of sealing jars with paraffin (wax) may be a worthwhile alternative. Unsure if chemicals are used in processing paraffin, though. Eatsy, give us your favorite recipe for marmalade. I'd love to try my hand at it.

    4 years ago

  • 1AEON

    1AEON says:

    Why is that, when someone else makes food it taste better? My Mom would make crazy delicious jam and so is other talented people in my extended family..hm...That being said I should learn how to do it myself:) Thank You for the great article!

    4 years ago

  • MoonDanceTextiles

    MoonDanceTextiles says:

    yumma!...I'm a huge fan of preserving...I have 2 large containers of my organic heirloom tomatoes that are staring at me right now, ready to be transformed into tomato sauce...the finished product is so far superior to anything that can be purchased in a store...thanks for promoting the practice of preserving...

    4 years ago

  • SewMerry

    SewMerry says:

    Yum! Great post. I love canning- having our own produce canned and frozen makes me feel warm, safe and cozy, and helps make the long Minnesota winters more bearable. This is one of my favorites- http://www.food.com/recipe/hot-pepper-garlic-jelly-95632

    4 years ago

  • AnastasiaMcMurren

    AnastasiaMcMurren says:

    My mom back home in Russia does a lot of preserving every single fall. And I used to love all those tasty canned fruit and vegetables during long long Siberian winters. Great article! Reminds me of home.

    4 years ago

  • postroadvintage

    postroadvintage says:

    I love that preserving, canning, gardening, and eating seasonal and local is making a come back! I just made 60 jars of Tomato soup and 30 jars of pickles.. hopefully the boys like that combo this winter :) Thanks for the helpful links and for including my hanging mason jars!

    4 years ago

  • lucky0girl0racer

    lucky0girl0racer says:

    I love canning, especially the final product:)

    4 years ago

  • julessabjewelry

    julessabjewelry says:

    Wow! All of these look so yummy! My family and I love to preserve so we always have "out of season" goodies to partake in. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe! We'll be adding it to our preserves book!

    4 years ago

  • recycledwares

    recycledwares says:

    i've always wanted to learn how to can my own fruits and veggies. yum.

    4 years ago

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage says:

    The plum jam looks so delicious! Canning is the way to go!!

    4 years ago

  • MyGrandpasPen

    MyGrandpasPen says:

    My son absolutely loves to crank the applesaucer - he and his grandma made over a hundred jars of applesauce this summer - so yummy!!

    4 years ago

  • StringsnTings

    StringsnTings says:

    Sounds delectable. Eatsy posts are probably one of my favorite things on Etsy!

    4 years ago

  • masibill

    masibill says:

    Just to see those jams ! Reminds me my childhood in my grandma kitchen ! I can smell it ! Mmmmm...

    4 years ago

  • FullSpiral

    FullSpiral says:

    I love the preserving revolution! Bring on self-reliance. I just posted a recipe on my blog for preserved lemons - for anyone else who has a backyard lemon tree dripping with fruit. http://messy-bessie.com/2010/10/from-scratch-preserved-lemons/

    4 years ago

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    4 years ago

  • AltaCucina

    AltaCucina says:

    Great recipe! I will buy some black plums next farmer market and make it! Thanks so much for sharing with us!

    3 years ago

  • HoneysuckleLane

    HoneysuckleLane says:

    Looks delicious!

    3 years ago

  • SpackleTheGap

    SpackleTheGap says:

    I always wanted to can and never really knew how! Im excited to try this recipe!!

    3 years ago

  • catiques

    catiques says:

    This is an awesome and yummy recipe. Thanks

    3 years ago