How to Make Spiced Plum Butter
‘Tis the season for picking Italian plums, isn’t it? In addition to drying them, making jam or tarts, they are awesome in spiced plum butter. We made it for the first time last year and discovered a fabulous, can’t-eat-just-one appetizer to make with it.
Take a pita cracker, top with some Cambozola or other creamy cheese that has a bit of a bite to it, and then add a dollop of plum butter. O-M-G! The flavors play off each other beautifully. Since we gave away most of our plum butter supply last year, making a fresh batch was high on my list of priorities for this season!
It’s pretty easy to make but does require time in the crockpot and/or oven. Fortunately, you can just get them going and then go do other things while they turn into flavorful yumminess.
First, a quick word of caution: When picking your plums, be very careful since yellow jackets think they are quite tasty once they’re ripe. Either wear lightweight gloves OR, if when you’re picking one, the surface of it feels rough to your hand, let go of it immediately because there could be yellow jackets in a hole, just waiting to sting you! (little stinkers) I speak from personal experience. So be careful out there when you’re picking.
OK, here’s how to make spiced plum butter:
Pick and wash plums.
Cut each plum in half, remove the pit, and puree the plums in a food processor or blender.
Pour puree into a crockpot. (you’ll notice I’m not mentioning a quantity of plums because it depends on how much puree will fit into your crockpot). I recommend only filling the crockpot to within 1″ of the top rim, to prevent overflowing AND set your crockpot in a jelly roll pan, just in case it does overflow a bit… also speaking from personal experience here, LOL!
Turn the crockpot onto the “Low” setting and cover. Let cook about 12 hours, stirring once or twice if it’s convenient (but it’s not absolutely necessary).
After 12 hours and a good stirring, add in sugar and spices (cinnamon and cloves) to taste. Just as a rough guideline, my puree required about 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 1 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon and 2 tsp. cloves.
Next, you can do one of two things: either let it continue cooking in the crockpot until the puree is nice and thick, OR pour the puree into a roasting pan and bake it in the oven at 300 degrees for about 3 hours longer… just until it’s thick. Be sure to stir it occasionally.
The final step is to can your plum butter. I ladled it into hot, sterilized jelly jars, screwed on the 2-piece lids, and processed them in a water-bath canner for 15 minutes. (If you don’t live in a higher elevation, the normal processing time for jams and jellies is 10 minutes.)