You can take advantage of less-than-perfect fruit with this recipe. If you don’t have a plum tree, look around. Many landscapers plant flowering plum trees in parking lots and business fronts that produce small, mouth-puckeringly sour plums. These are perfectly acceptable to use — simply slice off both “cheeks” of each plum and discard the pit-containing center. I have also made use of plums from the grocery store with equally delicious results.
|Early Laxton plums from our front yard + Applesauce
+ Spices = Sweet Treat to enjoy year-round
8 cups pitted and chopped plums
1 quart (32 oz.) unsweetened applesauce,
or 6 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
Combine ingredients in a 4 quart slow cooker and start cooking without the lid on high heat in the afternoon. Before you go to bed, reduce heat to low, leave the lid off, and simmer overnight. It will darken and become very thick as it cooks. If you happen to wake up at night, give it a stir. In the morning, stir and taste the butter and check for consistency. Butter should be thick and glossy; a wooden spoon will stand upright in the cooker.
Refrigerate in lidded containers up to 2 weeks or freeze up to 1 year.
You can also water bath can Overnight Plum Butter. Pour hot sauce into hot half pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles with a headspace tool or plastic knife. Wipe rims of jars with a clean, damp paper towel. Apply lids and rings and tighten according to manufacturer’s directions. Process 5 minutes in a boiling water canner. Adjust processing time for your specific altitude and read up on the basics of canning in a recent edition of the Ball Blue Book or contact your local Extension Service for classes and publications.
Yield varies depending on how long the butter is cooked down. I usually end up with about 7 half-pint jars.
Enjoy Overnight Plum Butter on toast, bran muffins, vanilla ice cream, or use as a dessert topping.