Thursday, September 11, 2008

Joy's Wild Sandplum Jelly - a recipe

Marilyn and I were taking my Dad to lunch on Sunday when she pointed out to me a bushy tree loaded with small reddish-orange fruit. “Do you know what it is?” she asked. She went on to explain that it was a sand plum bush, the fruit of which produced her mother Joy’s second favorite jelly; blackberry was her first.

Sand plums grow wild in parts of Kansas and Oklahoma and served as an important food source to the native Indians and early settlers. Joy isn’t around to make us any sand plum jelly and the last jar we had we purchased in Guthrie, Oklahoma while shopping for souvenirs. Marilyn and I agreed that we would find a sand plum bush and plant it in our yard. Maybe then she will take a stab at Joy’s simple recipe.

Wild Sand Plum Jelly

4 c. wild sand plum juice
4 c. cane sugar
1 tbsp. butter

Wash well and barely cover with water both ripe red wild sand plums and partially ripe pink plums. Boil until fruit is soft and liquid is bright red. Cool until warm only and strain through cheese cloth to obtain clear pulp free juice. Make jelly in proportion listed above. Bring strained juice to a boil, stir in butter to keep juice from boiling over sides of pan.

Slowly stir in sugar, stirring constantly until mixture reaches 220 degrees on candy thermometer. Remove from heat immediately and pour into dry, warm sterilized 1/2 pint jelly jars, leaving approximately 1/2 inch at top of jar for expansion when jelled. Seal jars tightly. Wild plums contain natural pectin. Do not over cook because jelly will continue to jell while cooling in the jars.

Yields approximately 8 to 10 jars.


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