Like most of my really brilliant ideas, the recipe for my Apple Prune Preserves was the product of necessity.
Er… stubbornness. Plus an accident.
It came into my life a couple of years ago when I decided that pears would make a nice addition to plain old prune jam.
I am quite addicted to French prunes, though all by themselves, they don’t always turn out the best jam. They prefer to be mixed with things like peaches–or rosemary.
Unfortunately, that was also the year that we had a delightfully warm, gloriously early spring, followed by a harder-than-normal frost… and many of the fruit blossoms did not survive it. Including the pears. That was the year that finding a local pear was almost impossible. Peaches were in short supply… but my much-adored French prunes were everywhere. Along with most kinds of apples.
Enter the stubbornness. I wanted to make this jam… but pears were not to be had. There were, however, lots of apples. And how different are pears and apples, really, once turned into sauce?
I chose Gala apples for their mild flavor.
Enter the accident. The apples didn’t sauce. I had expected them to just melt and mush during the jam-making process… and that did not happen. Instead, they remained firm, beautiful little bits of apple suspended amid the prune jam.
It looked elegant, tasted better, and became an instant family favorite.
This is the recipe, modified slightly, from my original invention to use Pomonas Universal Pectin.
(Learn how I became acquainted with Pomona’s Pectin here. And if you have never used Pomona’s Pectin, or need a refresher course in canning, be sure to check out the tutorial here.)
5 cups of fruit — I usually use three cups of prunes and two cups of apples
3/4 cup of raw honey, preferably local (I used Davis Honey’s Summer Blossom honey; check out their Facebook page)
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
1/4 cup water
2 tsp Pomona’s Pectin (get it here)
2 tsp calcium water — this is explained in the “refresher course” above, and in the package directions. Plus, the calcium for the calcium water comes with the pectin
Wash the fruit. Prepare the prunes by pitting them and chopping them finely; there is no need to peel the prunes. Prepare the apples by peeling them and chopping them into small, uniform pieces.
Place the fruit, lemon juice, and water in a pan. Add the calcium water and stir well. Bring fruit to a rolling boil, stirring often.
Meanwhile, add the pectin to the honey and stir until completely combined.
When fruit mixture is at a rolling boil, add the honey-pectin mixture and stir vigorously for 1-2 minutes to completely incorporate. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until it returns to a boil.
Remove from heat, and place in jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Process properly in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.
Makes 4-5 half-pints
For more recipes using Pomona’s Pectin, check out Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin: The Revolutionary Low-Sugar, High-Flavor Method for Crafting and Canning Jams, Jellies, Conserves, and More. This is a book I use often!
This post was shared at Mostly Homemade Mondays, Natural Living Mondays, Thank Goodness It’s Monday, Food Renegade’s Fat Tuesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Wellness Wednesday, The HomeAcre Hop, and Real Food Fridays.
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