5 lbs Italian prune plums, pitted and halved
2 cups light brown sugar
1 large cinnamon stick (optional)
Place the plums, sugar and cinnamon stick in an oval, six-quart slow cooker. Cook on low 12-18 hrs, leaving the lid slightly askew for the second half of the cooking time. Cook until a thick paste forms with little to no visible “liquid”. Use an immersion blender to process until smooth. Prep your jars/lids. Pour the butter in the jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Yield: about 1 pint “Elite” Ball jar, one 8-oz jar and 1 4-oz jar
Tomorrow is National Can-It-Forward Day, a day to help share the joys of preserving, and I thought I’d share what I think is the perfect first fruit canning project for a would-be canner. It is super easy, has little prep, doesn’t yield a ton (so you don’t have to spend a whole day standing over vats of boiling water on your first go) and the results are delish. Since you are cooking the plums down in the slow cooker, unless your slow cooker is defective, there is no chance of scorching, burning or overcooking the plums like there is on the stovetop. You just let them cook and cook and cook. Even if the liquid is at the “mostly evaporated” stage while you are sleeping, it will be hours the mixture would dry out beyond use. Very forgiving. Plus it only makes a small batch so you can process these in a regular stockpot (as long as it is tall enough to hold water a few inches above the cans). I use my 8-quart stock pot and the basket from the $10 home canning discovery kit (you can also use a folded up towel in the bottom, you just don’t want the jars to touch the bottom of the pot) for small batches like these. The water boils much more quickly in my stockpot than it does in my big canning pot and you probably already have one in your kitchen. Perfect if you are just trying canning on for size.