Canned plums are a great way to preserve your fruits for the coming months.
Turns out, it's easy to do this at home!
📕 What are canned plums?
Canned plums are made to last and are preserved in light sugar syrup.
Commercially canned fruits are the norm these days but preparing home-canned plums is still the norm in some places.
During harvest season you would end up with a bunch of plums, which you can't use up that fast. So, you are left to either consume them quickly or preserve them in some way.
Besides preparing plum jam or dehydrating plums, you can also can them.
Fresh plums are pitted and placed into a clean sterilized jar that comes with a latch on the lid and a rubber gasket.
A hot sugar-water solution is then poured over the fruits. The jar is locked and then taken through the water bath canning. 185 Fahrenheit/ 85 Celsius and all germs are killed!
That way your canned plums will be good for over a year!
You will need fresh plums, plain sugar, and water. That's it!
Pick plums that are not damaged or spoiled, they should be super fresh. Spoiled fruit parts will reduce the shelflife of your canned fruits.
I leave the choice of plum variety up to you. You can use regular purple plums or yellow plum varieties such as the precious Mirabell.
- Knife to cut open plums
- Canning jars with rubber seals - I use 24 ounce or ¾ liter jars.
- Canning Jar Lifter (aka jar grabber)
- Kitchen towel
- Canner pot with temperature indicator - Or a large pot with a lid to slide a thermometer through.
- regular pot to prepare light syrup with a cooking spoon
🥫 How to can plums?
Making canned plums at home is super easy if you have all the equipment rather be used.
Here is an overview of how to make this from scratch the easiest and most straightforward way.
Wash your jars well with soap, also the rubber gaskets.
Boil rubber gasket in water to kill all germs.
Rinse fruits and cut open to take out seed core. Cut plums into quarters.
Place fruits into jars and fill each jar up to the top.
Prepare light water syrup by heating up water and sugar (2:1 ratio) in a pot until the sugar has dissolved in water.
Pour water sugar syrup over plums, the fruits need to be covered.
Place rubber gasket around the lid. Close the jars with the latch.
To sterilize jars and their insides, place filled-up closed jars into a canner pot next to each other and/or over each other if there is space.
Cover jars with water.
Close the canner with a lid and fix the thermometer so that you can read the temperature anytime on the outside.
Heat up the canner and bring it to about 185 Fahrenheit/ 85 Celsius.
Cook for another 30 minutes at 185 Fahrenheit/ 85 Celsius.
Turn off heat when done, open lid, and take out jars with the help of a jar lifter.
Place jars on a spread-out kitchen towel to cool and keep them there until they are done cooling down.
Keep your unopened sterilized canned jars with preserved plums in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight on a shelf next to each other.
We keep them in the cellar but in a room that hasn't a high humidity level. Cellars can be wet.
A pantry room or cupboard is great too.
This works best in a cold climate. Hot humid climates require Air cooled rooms.
Your canned cherries will last for up to 18-24 months if prepared and stored in a clean manner.
📜 Flavor variations
You can enhance your canned homemade plums by adding flavors. Spices can turn your canned plums from ok to wow!
Here are your options. Pick one of the following, per jar.
- vanilla bean - split open a vanilla bean and place it into the jar with the plums.
- cinnamon - A small piece of a whole cinnamon spice added to the fruits in the jar.
- cardamom - whole lightly crushed green cardamom pods. about 2 per jar.
- cloves - adds a fresh clove flavor. 2 piece per jar at most.
- star anise - for a licorice taste experience. A large star corner or a small star anise per jar.
To use your canned plums, just open up the jar by pulling the rubber seal.
Use up the jar within a few days once opened and keep leftovers in the fridge.
You can drink the juice too. It's delicious!
Here is how we use our canned plums:
- in cakes and tarts. See Mirabell Plum Tart
- with ice cream and chocolate sauce or whipped cream
- in a cobbler or crisp
- with other canned fruits to serve as a fruit salad dessert. Or add them to your punch or sangria.
- in a custard based dessert such as pudding or clafoutis. Or in rice pudding or breakfast porridge.
- in smoothies
To make canned cherries that last, I recommend not skip the sugar. Sugar helps in preserving your fruits. Honey isn't plain sugar, so the canned cherries won't last that long if you use honey instead of sugar.
Just drink it like a juice. You can mix in some water if you like or use it in a cocktail or mocktail. We usually just serve up the plums in the syrup. Other fruits can be added to this wet fruit salad.
Yes, you can follow the same recipe and preserve other fruits with the same water sugar ratio. You can preserve peaches, cherries, and pears this way. In fact, even veggies and mushrooms can be home canned.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comment section further below!
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Home Canned Plums Recipe
- 8.8 pounds Plums
- 4 cups Water
- 2½ cups Sugar
- Rinse plums to get rid of impurities. Add some vinegar to the water to get rid of insects if there are any.8.8 pounds Plums
- Wash jars and rubber rings. Sterilize jars and rings. You can sterilize jars by keeping them in the heat in the oven or by placing them into boiling hot water. Boil the rubber gasket rings in water to kill all germs.
- Cut plums into halves and take out pit.
- Place plum halves into clean jars and shake the jar top to push the fruits downwards. Fill up to the jar top with fruits.
- Prepare light syrup by combining water and sugar in a pot over the stovetop. Mix and cook, the liquid should be hot but not bubbling.4 cups Water, 2½ cups Sugar
- Place sterilized rubber rings around your jar lids.
- Pour syrup over your plum halves so that they are covered in juice.
- Close your jar with the latch.
- Keep your large canner pot over the fire and place jars into the canner next to each other. If there is space, you can also place them over each other.
- Pour water over your jars up to the top. The jars should be submerged and covered.
- Close the canner and make sure that the thermometer is attached as per canner instructions and that it is visible.
- Heat up the canner pot and bring the temperature to about 185° Fahrenheit or 85° Celsius. This can take about 30 minutes.
- Continue to sterilize and cook jars for 30 minutes at about 185° Fahrenheit or 85° Celsius. Control the heat to stay at that temperature.
- To take out hot jars, spread a kitchen towel over a kitchen surface. Turn off heat when done, remove lid and take out jars with a set of jar lifter. Place hot and wet jars on the kitchen towels.
- Allow jars to cool before you store them in a cool and dry place on a shelf preferably.
- Makes about 5x ¾ quart/liter jar + 1x ½ quart/liter jar
- The water sugar ratio is always 2:1 for the syrup. That means you can adjust the recipe by using larger or smaller fruit quantities.
- Small Knife
- Canning Jars with a latch and rubber seal
- Canner pot with Thermometer
- Jar lifter
- Small Pot to prepare syrup