20 mirabelle plums
1 cup water
1 1/4 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
2 whole star anise
2 whole cloves
2 whole white cardamom pods
10 white peppercorns
1 bay leaf
Add the plums and spices to a quart jar, taking care to leave a little more than 1/2 inch of headspace at the top. Combine the water, vinegar and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a low boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour brine over the plums, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove any bubbles. Seal and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.
Yield: 1 quart
Note: A great source for canning information is the Blue Book guide to preserving. I highly recommend it for learning how to can. Here is a bunch of other canning books and equipment I find useful.
My thoughts:I had some mirabelle plums leftover after making jam and eating some out of hand so I thought I'd try pickling some. I love pickled fruit and hadn't had a chance to pickle plums before. I thought their small size, sweet flesh and tart skin would be great in a pickle. I was right! These pickles are sweet, puckery and intensely flavored. Although the plum are French specialty, the spices I used are a slight nod to Scandinavian cooking. They are just so aromatic, I knew they'd be a great fit.
Since I made such a small batch, I used my Ball Home Canning Discovery Kit basket and my largest stock pot instead of my big canner. Since it was a smaller pot, the water came to a boil quickly. In fact, this whole project took about 15 minutes, including processing the cans. You could also easily slip this jar in with a batch of something else you are canning. I just just trying to preserve the plums before it was too late and didn't have any other canning projects ready to go.
Some thoughts: If you have more plums, I think this recipe could be easily doubled. You could also use two wide-mouthed pint jars instead of one quart. I have a bunch of vintage quart jars my mom's friends have passed on to me and I like to use them when I can.