Saturday, September 22, 2007

Plums and granola

I can't believe it's already the last couple weeks of September. We have finally recovered from our vacation and are feeling rested. This was our first plane ride/vacation with both boys and while they did really really well, it wore me out completely! But nothing that a few naps in my own bed couldn't take care of. Okay... who am I kidding... I'm still napping in the afternoons as much as Sawyer will let me. But I think that has more to do with me loving sleep and less to do with our vacation recovery. :-)

Fall is definitely here and I've been in the mood to prepare for the cooler months. We are planning on trimming our trees and plants back in the next couple of weeks. Plums, apples, and squashes are in season and I'm getting ready to make Sawyer's baby food so I'll have a good stash going for November when I'm sure he'll be wanting to try solids. And we're stocking up on good books and a few good series to enjoy while it's raining and cold outside.


We have a big plum tree in our back yard that gives a good amount of plums each fall. Last year we just picked them off and ate them as we wanted. This year, I've decided to make some plum butter to enjoy this winter. My first batch didn't turn out so well because the recipe I had followed was wrong on a few details. So I found another recipe that included the right cooking times (it takes a solid 2 hours, not 15 minutes) and it turned out perfectly! I ended up combining the two recipes and altering the final one a bit and I'm thrilled with the results.

Plum Butter

2 lbs plums, pitted and sliced
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of nutmeg

Heat plums and 1/2 cup of sugar in heavy pot/kettle on low heat. Cook until plums are tender. Put plums in a blender or food processor and puree. Using a spoon strainer or large-hole colander strain to remove the peels*. Put plum puree back into pot and add the remaining sugar and spices. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down low so it's simmering very very slowly. Stirring occasionally so it it doesn't burn on the bottom, cook until the plum puree is very thick and very dark in color. This will take about 1 to 1 1/2 hours (or longer in crockpot). It's done when the mixture "sheets" from the spoon, or creates a thick layer on back of spoon and doesn't drip.

Spoon into hot, sterilized jars and screw on metal lids. Leave on the counter for 24 hours for flavor to deepen. Keep fresh plum butter in refrigerator or store in freezer for 6 months. Makes 2 to 3, 1/2-pint jars.

**I didn't know if the peels should be left in it or not but I liked the look of it better without the peels so it was easy for me just to strain them out. Don't use a fine strainer though because you want the thick fibers from the plum in the butter.


This morning I made a delicious skillet granola for breakfast. It was so good with yogurt and fresh fruit. This will definitely become a family favorite!



Karli said...

Great post, Andrea! I plan to try the skillet granola soon. I love your pictures, too. Good job!

Jeremy & Andrea said...

The granola and plum butter are awesome... as good as they are, these pics can't even do them justice.
- JC

The Lehmans said...

Chandler loooves plums, I'll have to try that recipe!