Plum Conserve

Plum Conserve is a preserve made from fresh plums, oranges, raisins, and walnuts.  Use it to impress guests as an appetizer with a baguette and hard cheese, as a condiment, or simply to spread on toast.  It’s versatile and utterly delicious.

plum conserve

If you read my post on Cooking School Week 2, you know that we tackled preserving, something I was really looking forward to.  I enjoyed the process very much, and we had a giveaway at school and got to pick out jars of bread and butter pickles, spicy apple chutney, marmalade, etc. and take them home.  I got a big jar of this Plum Conserve because I made it at school.  I’d never had a conserve before, and was it ever delicious! 🙂

plum conserve2

I asked my teacher what the difference was between a conserve and jam, and she said basically it’s made with raisins and walnuts, and it’s more versatile than jam.  Conserve can be used as a condiment for meats, spread on toast, or my favorite, as an appetizer with a baguette and hard cheese such as manchego.

plum conserve3

I have to say that making this was easy.  Everything just went into the saucepan and simmered for 2 – 2 1/2 hours until it was thick and jelly-like.  The only part that was a bit of a pain was chopping up oranges — peel and all — and pulsing them into the food processor until they were coarsely chopped.  This conserve had such a deep plum flavor which was only enhanced by the orange and raisins.  Those walnuts added a nice crunch as well. 🙂

plum conserve5

Whenever preserving, the only thing to remember is that the jars and lids must be sterilized.  The jars are baked in a 200 degree oven on a rimmed baking sheet until ready to fill, and have the lids boiling in a saucepan on the stove top until the jars are filled.  Be careful not to touch the lids before sealing the jars — simply remove from the water with tongs, shake off the water, and place them directly on the filled jars.

I’ve already decided that I’m going to do some different preserves for Christmas instead of baking a thousand cookies like I usually do.  Receiving a jar full of goodness like this is so special.  I realize plum season is pretty much gone, but I’m going to try this with cranberries.  I’m sure any number of fruits can be used, and I can’t wait to try them! 🙂

plum conserve4

Plum Conserve
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Plum Conserve is a preserve made from fresh plums, oranges, raisins, and walnuts. Use it to impress guests as an appetizer with a baguette and hard cheese, or simply to spread on toast. It's versatile and utterly delicious.
Serves: (8) 8 ounce jars
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds of plums, pitted and quartered
  • 2 large oranges, seeded and quartered
  • 1 pound of raisins
  • 6 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup raw walnut halves
Instructions
  1. Place the quartered oranges in a food processor and pulse till coarsely chopped. Combine the plums, oranges, raisins, and sugar in a large pot. Simmer on medium low for 2 - 2½ hours or until thick and jelly-like. Add the nuts and heat through.
  2. When the conserve begins to thicken, preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place mason jars on a rimmed baking sheet and keep them in the warm oven until ready to fill. Place the lids in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue to boil the lids gently until the jars have been filled with the conserve. When the jars have been filled, make sure to wipe any excess conserve around the top with a clean, damp towel. Remove the lids from the boiling water with tongs, shake off any excess water, and place directly over the filled jars one by one. Seal with the rings.
  3. Conserve may be stored in a cool, dry place until ready to use. Refrigerate after opening. Enjoy!
Notes
Recipe from Tante Marie Cooking School, San Francisco, CA.