Editors note: This post was written by our youngest contributor about harvesting wild plums on our property. Oddly, we have not harvested these plums in their 25-year life span but Frederick was insistent this season and, lo and behold, we’ve been missing out on great flavor.
One day I saw the fruit trees on our property and I thought “How would this fruit taste if I made something out of it?” I asked my grandma about it. They were wild plums. She said we could make jam out of them but she wasn’t sure what it would taste like.
At my birthday party I dared my friend T.J. to eat one of them. He ate one and said it was sweet and he got all of the other kids at my birthday party to eat them. They didn’t like them a bit. They were making weird faces because they were sour but T.J. didn’t care. He ate twelve plums to the pit.
After my birthday party, my grandma and I became even more curious about how they would taste so we picked twelve of them and used them for a test. The test was to see if they were a good fruit for making jam. My grandma cooked them and tasted them. The test turned out well.
My grandma said that we needed a lot of wild plums. I climbed the tree and tried to get them but it was making my legs sore so I climbed down to pick all the rest. We had a total of two colanders full.
Then we brought them inside of the house. My grandma, Bea, was surprised even when I brought in one colander and then when she saw the other colander she was even more surprised. She said, “We’ll be able to make a lot of jam out of this.”
She cooked all of the wild plums and then we had to get all of the pulp and the flavor out without getting the pits. We used this weird gadget to do that job. The gadget squishes the fruit through these little holes and the pits are too big to go through the holes so they stay in the top part of the gadget. After we were done, we measured them and it turned out to be 12 cups of plum pulp.
I was surprised when my grandma said we needed fifteen cups of sugar to sweeten that. That was even more than the plum pulp. No wonder jelly is so sweet. We put the sugar in a bowl — it was like a mountain! Then my grandma and me took turns stirring the pulp for ten minutes then we put the sugar in. We stirred it up and got it dissolved. After that, my mom and my grandma told me to get out of the kitchen because they were canning the jam. After thirty minutes of canning our jam was made.
I learned that wild plums make good jam.
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Yum! I want some wild plum jam!
Next time I come to your house I’ll bring some jam.
Please tell Frederick that his article was very well written! I had no idea that jam could require that much sugar! Also, I would love to taste that jam! Is he selling jars? How much would he charge for a jar? My mom is going to be spending time with his grandma, so I could send payment with her, if he sends jam with his grandma =)
I’ll tell Bea to bring some special jam for Auntie Jan.
This fruit was very low sugar to start with but it’s actually surprising how much sugar is in jam even when you start out with sweet fruit. You can reduce the sugar and still have a tasty jam (though maybe not with wild plums). 🙂 The problem in reducing the sugar is that sugar is a key part of the preservative.
You can use much less sugar if you use a low-sugar type of pectin. Used to be hard to find and special-ordered, but Ball has been selling in regular grocery stores lately. The low-sugar stuff doesn’t require ANY sugar, so you could entirely use stevia if you wanted. My last batches of strawberry and mulberry had 6 1/2 cups fruit pulp to 2 cups honey. I haven’t tried a stevia-only batch yet, as I’m a bit afraid how it will work. I tend to use stevia most in recipes with strong flavors so no one notices it, like cole slaw… Read more »
Thanks Jackie! You are a gem as always.
Wow. Great post!
I want to make this too!
I sure wish I knew where to find some wild plums!!!
What a delightful site!
Thanks for sharing ~
That is one of the best jam adventures I’ve ever read about. Thank you for a great tale, and enjoy the delicious jam! (What’s next?)
I loved this story abt making plum jam …. Please write more !!!
Great article. Makes me want to make jam with my mom and my grandsons. Thanks! Can’t wait for your next story. Debra
What a wonderful article about wild plums. You are very lucky to have access to fruit trees where you live. I can’t wait to read more of your adventures!
What a fun story! It makes me wish I had wild plum trees too.
Great story Fredrick!! I can wait to taste some of that Wild Plum Jam. Maybe we could talk Bea into making something tasty to put it on? What do you think?
Look forward to reading more of your adventures on the hill soon.
Well done Frederick! I enjoyed reading your story about the wild plums. Good on ya for getting your friends and your Grandma to try something new!
Well done Frederick!!! Look forward to reading more stories written by you!!!
Luv this line “After that, my mom and my grandma told me to get out of the kitchen because they were canning the jam.” That’s what my Mother used to say to me when she was in the canning frenzy..
Frederick, I love your story. Keep on writing about your learning experiences.
High 5 Frederick!! 🙂 or as my husband Harrison would do “fist pound man!! :)” <3 Lydia
Well done Frederick! Seems your are a budding writer to follow in your Mom’s footsteps. I buy wild plums from a local Colorado farmer and love to eat them raw!
I enjoyed this article on making plum jam so much! My mom used to make it, using plums that grew wild in front of our house. I now live in a forested area in Arkansas, and there are many deer. The deer have eaten ALL of our huckleberries, wild roses, and most of the blackberries. We have free-range chickens, and what the deer don’t eat, they do! Bummer.
Thanks Greg! We’ll check it out. We’ve got elderberries all over the place here.