Recipes from a Monastery Kitchen

By: Gourmet Nun

PLUMS

I love this time of summer when the fruits of the garden start to pile up in the refrigerator — so many choices and opportunities. My favorites for August are the stone fruits that ripen one tree after another –especially peaches, plums and nectarines. Only the Creator himself knows why one year is a bumper crop and another isn’t. This year was PLUM year. What a wonderful sign of God’s love and provision for us, not to mention the creative challenge!  We made plum butter, plum jam, plum chutney, plum barbecue sauce, plum cordial, and plum coffeecake, to name a few, and I still have about 70 pounds in the freezer to play with through the fall and early winter. My favorite recipe was the plum butter; so easy and sooo good. Here it is:
 
Plum Butter
1 pound ripe Italian or Damsun plums, washed, halved and pitted
1/2 to 1 cup sugar, depending on tartness of plums
 
Preparation:

1. Place plums in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until plums completely break down and are tender, stirring with a wooden spoon.
2. Add sugar to taste and continue to cook and stir until the butter is thick  enough so that when a spoonful is turned upside down it doesn’t immediately drop back into the pan.
3. Place hot butter into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4″ head-space. Cover with sterilized lids. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes. Once cool, store in a cool dark place. (You can skip the water bath and store in the refrigerator for up to a month, or freeze for up to one year.) Makes about one pint.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!