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Monday, August 20, 2012

Apple Plum Butter

We had a fairly sizable yield of Jonagold Apples and Italian plums from our garden this year. The apples, plums, pears in the garden usually skip a year or two for giving maximum fruits, so, the years when they are aplenty I like to can them.

As they are organic, the worms get to the apples before we do so it is a bit tenuous to share it with friends. As we joke at home, What's worse than biting into an apple and finding a worm? Biting into an apple and finding half a worm!

Chopping the apples up and getting the good parts is usually fun, even if a bit tedious.

Plums have been safe from bugs so far - birds and squirrels get to them first. There is a short window when they are perfectly ripe for picking, when they are juicy and sweet and ready to eat. But they are just fine when they are firm but tart and work well for jams and preserves.

I like to can some of them whole, pit and all, in mild syrup so it saves time. But taking that extra effort to pit the plums and make jams and preserves is very satisfying too.

The Apple Plum Butter/Jam is a pretty straightforward recipe: simply cook with favorite spices for long enough time till apples caramelize to a thick jam-like consistency.  I did not measure exactly for this batch.

Chopped apples, skin and all
Chopped Italian plums, pitted
Lemon juice
Prune Juice
Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves
Brown sugar (or Splenda, just enough to reduce the tartness)
Apple Cider vinegar
Water as needed

I cooked the above ingredients on stove-top for about half an hour over medium heat, then transferred to a slow cooker/crock pot and left it overnight on low, and finally increased it to high to finish cooking for the last 2 hours. Indeed, it takes about 14 hours to make this but one taste and it convinces me that it is worth it.

I made some garlic relish as well, and some key lime pickle - my favorites - Indian-style. Unlike the usual Chunky style Lime Garlic Chili pickle, I diced the key lime finely and minced the garlic and chopped the chili to make a Thokku-like pickle.

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