Tag Archives: plums

Plum deliciousness

You know I have a long-standing passion for yellow plum jam. Yellow plums are my all time favorite for jamming, and and for eating.

I made 2 batches (20 half pint jars) of ginger/plum/bourbon jam, from just two bowls of plums from my friend Linda. I thought I was done for the year.

Darn kids, I thought. Who’s dropping lunch reject plums on my dried up front lawn? Then I looked up, and realized the truth. The plum trees that I planted 10 years ago, that never produced fruit (well, one tree made two plums about 5 years ago), have decided that this is the year. Maybe they like being heat stressed, or they think they need to reproduce because the heat is going to kill them. Whatever.

I got on a ladder, and picked 19 plums. That’s the harvest, between the two trees. They’re oddly large, and the fruit is firm, like an Italian prune. I think they’re a Japanese plum, but I’m not sure; 2011 was a long time ago. The plums aren’t especially juicy, and they’re fairly tart. I don’t want to make more jam; purple plum jam isn’t as delicious as yellow plum jam, at least to me. What to do?

I put out the question on FB, and the answer was: Plum Torte. The famous NYTimes recipe from Marian Burros, to be precise. I remembered that Smitten Kitchen also had a take on it, and another friend referred to the Food52 version. Excellent references, all. I did a mashup of the three using:

3/4 cup all purpose flour plus 1/4 cup corn meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
Large pinch of salt
3/4 granulated sugar
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) salted butter, softened
2 large eggs
5 plums quartered and pitted (because mine are so big)
omitted the fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chunky sugar and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon for garnish

Cream sugar and butter, beat in eggs, beat in dry ingredients. I put mine in an 8” springform pan, because that’s the one I have. Top with plums, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or til done. Cool, remove from pan, celebrate!

I told you the plums are oddly large. The recipes call for 12 small Italian plums, halved, and a 9” pan. If I had halved the plums, I could probably only fit 4 in the pan, so I cut them lengthwise, twice, and made a flower/sunburst with them. They sink into the cake,, so you’d never know, and I forgot to take a picture before baking. I’m not a real food blogger!

We loved this so much, I had to make it a second time, because we still have a few plums left. Also, I wanted to tweak it a bit; I used more corn meal the first time, and it was crunchier than I like. I have medium grind cornmeal, because I use it under pizza on the pizza stone. A finer grind would be ideal, but I don’t use corn meal often enough to have more in the pantry.

This cake is actually for dessert tonight, but I wanted to take a picture for you. And now I have to taste it. Such a sacrifice. Delicious!

plum busy

September brings plums, and plums mean jam; at least for me. Last year I made 20 jars of jam with the bounty from Vickie’s tree. But I gave away too much at Christmas, and by March I was out of jam. I’ve been (im)patiently waiting for this year’s harvest. Unfortunately, Vickie’s tree didn’t cooperate! I think our strangely rainy and cool extended spring and very short summer have wreaked havoc with the crop. I was reduced to actually buying plums from the supermarket.


These are the biggest Italian prune plums (Damsons) that I’ve ever seen. But they’re the same variety I always use. The inside is greenish yellow, as usual.


And the jam is reddish purple, as usual!


Since I had the water bath canner out, I made another batch of blueberry lime jam, too, using our blueberries from the freezer. This time it set up a lot better than my previous batch.

In other news, my rose is blooming.


And I’m teaching at Twisted this Wednesday evening and next, intro to circular knitting/basic hats. If you’re ready to break out of your straight needle beginnings and move to the next step, contact Twisted to register!

Knitting continues. I’m flying along on the BSJ. I love knitting garter stitch because it’s so good for multi-tasking; I usually watch a movie or read. It’s hard to get the book to stay open to the right page without using my hands, though. Luckily for me, DH gave me a Kindle for my birthday. (In addition to the rose planting!)


Do you multi-task while knitting, too?

It’s all about purple…

Remember how summer was all about blue for me? Blueberries, blue February Lady sweater, blue hydrangeas? And a little pink: Josephine, and the pink February Baby sweater.

New season, new color. Now it’s all about purple. Makes sense; blue + pink = purple!

Here’s what I’ve been working on: purple plums. Or technically, Italian prunes. I picked these at Vickie’s house when I was at her block party on Saturday. Kind of blue purple, but purple nonetheless.


I made them into two batches of jam. It’s funny how it’s red purple after processing, especially since the flesh of the fruit is yellow and the skin is blue! I used MCP pectin, which comes with a simpler recipe than the Sure-Jell variety. (No pre-cooking the plum mixture.) I know you can make jam without purchased pectin, but that would take a lot longer, and I’ve been using this process for years. Now I have 20 jars of plum jam, a taste of summer all winter long. And it’s great for gifts, too.


I rode my bike over to Twisted this afternoon to buy this yarn. It’s Louet Riverstone worsted; the color is eggplant. It’s a red purple, although I tend to think of eggplant as blue purple, like the plums in the first picture.


The yarn is for the Central Park Hoodie, which is the next knitalong at Twisted. It was my favorite out of the items up for vote, so how could I not make it? I voted for it! I admit that I may have been swayed by TurtleGirl’s CPH.

I’ll be swatching tonight at Knit Nite.

And since there’s just a bit of summer left, I’m using the leftovers from the blue February Lady sweater, and playing with the idea of a gull wing lace fingerless mitt. Besides, purple has blue in it, right? I’m transitioning!