Plums are one of those fruits you can almost always bank on getting free. Folks who have plum trees are continually looking for friends to take the abundance off their hands. I usually get a good haul in from a couple trees at my parents' place, but was away during plum harvest season this summer so was happy when the plums I'd been ogling in the yard in Eugene were ready by the time we left town.
So whole plums in syrup seemed the obvious choice for the July Cook It! project.
Plums in Syrup with Rosemary
Yields one quart-sized jar
1½ - 2 lbs whole plums, depending on size of fruit
2 cups of water
1 cup of sugar
1 piece of fresh rosemary, washed
While you heat up your water bath canner, place water and sugar into a non-reactive pot and stir to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil and cook while stirring for one minute.
Wash the plums and prick each one 3-4 times with a skewer or toothpick. Place the plums in your hot jar, packing them as tightly as possible. They will shrink once you add the hot liquid and process them, so squeeze as many in as you can.
Place the sprig of fresh rosemary down one side of the jar, and pour the hot simple syrup over the plums, leaving ½" headspace.
Wipe the rim with a clean, damp dish towel, placing the lid on top and screwing down the band to fingertip tightness.
Process for 25 minutes and let cool on a wire rack. Over time the rosemary will infuse the syrup and plums with more flavor, so keep this jar on the shelf for at least a month or two before opening.
Use the flavorful plums to top ice cream or cake-like desserts. The extra syrup provides the perfect hint of fruity and herbal flavor for cocktails.
Note: If you are using thin-skinned plums, they may burst inside the jar when you process them. While this isn't the most attractive outcome, there's always a silver lining: when you open the jar, you can quickly cook them down in the syrup to make plum rosemary compote! (Just don't forget to remove the pits.)