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Eatsy: Preserving Summer’s Lingering Fruits

Sep 29, 2010

by kittykatherine handmade and vintage goods

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.


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

Quick Plum Preserves

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


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.


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.

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  • BambuEarth

    BambuEarth said 6 years ago

    YUM!!!! ♥

  • natalya1905

    natalya1905 said 6 years ago

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

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts said 6 years ago

    Looks good!

  • papercutworks

    papercutworks said 6 years ago

    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...

  • marinebiochic07

    marinebiochic07 said 6 years ago

    I love canned fruits and vegetables!

  • karenjcreations

    karenjcreations said 6 years ago

    Delicious!! :)

  • IlluminatedPerfume

    IlluminatedPerfume said 6 years ago

    Mouth watering!

  • ohbabydotcom

    ohbabydotcom said 6 years ago

    Oh sooo yummy!

  • bysweetmom

    bysweetmom said 6 years ago

    so delicious...

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 6 years ago

    Yes again superr yummy post ! merci :))

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 6 years ago

    Here is peach jam :)

  • MJSGems

    MJSGems said 6 years ago

    Plum jam! my favorite!!

  • DecoFamara

    DecoFamara said 6 years ago

    Delicious mmmmmmm

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 6 years ago

    Time for tea and toast. Yum - thanks.

  • rozzie

    rozzie said 6 years ago

    Great tips!! Sounds so good.

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 6 years ago

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

  • fiveforty

    fiveforty said 6 years ago

    Yum, I love plum jam!

  • KMalinka

    KMalinka said 6 years ago


  • carvelcountrysoaps

    carvelcountrysoaps said 6 years ago

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

  • SewMuchMoreDecor

    SewMuchMoreDecor said 6 years ago

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

  • Vintage50sEyewear

    Vintage50sEyewear said 6 years ago

    That looks so delicious. :)

  • StudioElenus

    StudioElenus said 6 years ago

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

  • gototes

    gototes said 6 years ago

    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!

  • Pinkpjs

    Pinkpjs said 6 years ago

    There is nothing better than plum jam!

  • rosebudshome

    rosebudshome said 6 years ago

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

  • ItsSoSue

    ItsSoSue said 6 years ago

    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.

  • BlueAngelJewellery

    BlueAngelJewellery said 6 years ago

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

  • DesignProjects

    DesignProjects said 6 years ago

    yummmm jammm

  • patchesnthings

    patchesnthings said 6 years ago

    These recipes look delicious!

  • polkadotmagpie

    polkadotmagpie said 6 years ago

    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!

  • ZsBcreations

    ZsBcreations said 6 years ago

    Oh, wonderful recipes!! Here is my fig jam with lemon balm and thyme:

  • TheUntamedHeart

    TheUntamedHeart said 6 years ago


  • SASessories

    SASessories said 6 years ago

    yummy! i want them all!!

  • ginaregina

    ginaregina said 6 years ago

    and now I'm hungry

  • critter01

    critter01 said 6 years ago

    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.

  • SchneiderGallery

    SchneiderGallery said 6 years ago

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

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage said 6 years ago

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

  • sweetjane

    sweetjane said 6 years ago

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

  • fernfiddlehead

    fernfiddlehead said 6 years ago

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

  • Shayza

    Shayza said 6 years ago

    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!

  • GloryBDesign

    GloryBDesign said 6 years ago

    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!

  • Mclovebuddy

    Mclovebuddy said 6 years ago

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

  • LilaJo

    LilaJo said 6 years ago


  • gatelinesalsa

    gatelinesalsa said 6 years ago

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

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 said 6 years ago

    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.

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 said 6 years ago

    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!

  • tinylittleforest

    tinylittleforest said 6 years ago

    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!

  • lorenabr

    lorenabr said 6 years ago

    Yummy looks great and I bet it taste delicious!

  • iconicblue

    iconicblue said 6 years ago

    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...

  • SewnNatural

    SewnNatural said 6 years ago

    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!

  • iconicblue

    iconicblue said 6 years ago

    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.

  • akcArt

    akcArt said 6 years ago

    Nothing like homemade jams, jellies, and apple butters! Another Etsy great is Check it out!

  • MyWisteriaCottage

    MyWisteriaCottage said 6 years ago

    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?

  • CritterCoutureXoXo

    CritterCoutureXoXo said 6 years ago

    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:

  • whimsywhimsical

    whimsywhimsical said 6 years ago

    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!!

  • KLBVintageWares

    KLBVintageWares said 6 years ago

    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!

  • CookbookAddict

    CookbookAddict said 6 years ago

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

  • electricbluebird

    electricbluebird said 6 years ago

    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.

  • WoodlandCottage

    WoodlandCottage said 6 years ago

    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...

  • WoodlandCottage

    WoodlandCottage said 6 years ago

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

  • ElvenWreathsJewelry

    ElvenWreathsJewelry said 6 years ago

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

  • ElvenWreathsJewelry

    ElvenWreathsJewelry said 6 years ago

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

  • therustedrose

    therustedrose said 6 years ago

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

  • dkshopgirl

    dkshopgirl said 6 years ago

    Lovely pictures - yummy !

  • beryllynn

    beryllynn said 6 years ago

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

  • njnjm14522

    njnjm14522 said 6 years ago

    Good news: this website (======= =======) 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.

  • LOEL1

    LOEL1 said 6 years ago

    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".

  • eurekapaprika

    eurekapaprika said 6 years ago

    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!

  • retrolabs

    retrolabs said 6 years ago

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

  • hurstdesigns

    hurstdesigns said 6 years ago

    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. :)

  • CucumberBeanCannery

    CucumberBeanCannery said 6 years ago

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

  • HelenesDreams

    HelenesDreams said 6 years ago

    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!

  • coup

    coup said 6 years ago

    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.

  • BarkerChocolateBox

    BarkerChocolateBox said 6 years ago

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

  • belleskincare

    belleskincare said 6 years ago

    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.

  • Fibrillaria

    Fibrillaria said 6 years ago

    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!

  • 3pearls

    3pearls said 6 years ago

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

  • PurplePumpkins

    PurplePumpkins said 6 years ago

    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!

  • tricotaria

    tricotaria said 6 years ago

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

  • doingitherself

    doingitherself said 6 years ago

    iconicblue, I want that recipe for marmalade!

  • doingitherself

    doingitherself said 6 years ago

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

  • tippleandsnack

    tippleandsnack said 6 years ago

    I've got the labels!

  • ravenhaired

    ravenhaired said 6 years ago

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

  • CanningCrafts

    CanningCrafts said 6 years ago

    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

  • joyceweaver

    joyceweaver said 6 years ago

    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.

  • MademoiselleG

    MademoiselleG said 6 years ago

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

  • asundrynotion

    asundrynotion said 6 years ago

    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.

  • 1AEON

    1AEON said 6 years ago

    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 being said I should learn how to do it myself:) Thank You for the great article!

  • MoonDanceTextiles

    MoonDanceTextiles said 6 years ago

    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...

  • SewMerry

    SewMerry said 6 years ago

    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-

  • AnastasiaMcMurren

    AnastasiaMcMurren said 6 years ago

    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.

  • postroadvintage

    postroadvintage said 6 years ago

    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!

  • lucky0girl0racer

    lucky0girl0racer said 6 years ago

    I love canning, especially the final product:)

  • julessabjewelry

    julessabjewelry said 6 years ago

    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!

  • recycledwares

    recycledwares said 6 years ago

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

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 6 years ago

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

  • MyGrandpasPen

    MyGrandpasPen said 6 years ago

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

  • StringsnTings

    StringsnTings said 6 years ago

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

  • masibill

    masibill said 6 years ago

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

  • FullSpiral

    FullSpiral said 6 years ago

    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.

  • mnmnb1452

    mnmnb1452 said 6 years ago

    Wonderful. Share a website with you , (==== ====) Believe you will love it.

  • AltaCucina

    AltaCucina said 5 years ago

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

  • HoneysuckleLane

    HoneysuckleLane said 5 years ago

    Looks delicious!

  • SpackleTheGap

    SpackleTheGap said 5 years ago

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

  • catiques

    catiques said 5 years ago

    This is an awesome and yummy recipe. Thanks

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