This recipe comes from my mother-in-law and it is one that she has been making (according to my husband Nick) every summer for his whole life. Maybe I was too pregnant to waddle down the bushy paths last summer but this year the beach plums seem to be going crazy.
I have always been intimidated by making jelly at home but his recipe is straight forward and has three decades of family testing behind it.
BEACH PLUM JELLY
Makes 6 8-ounce jars
First Step is to make juice:
10 cups whole beach plums
2 cups water
Place the beach plums in a large saucepan, crush, and add water. Simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until soft. While they cook, crush the fruit with a potato masher periodically and stir to keep from sticking.
Filter the juice through jelly bag or strainer lined with cheese cloth. Hang your straining system over a bowl and let it drip overnight.
DON’T SQUEEZE, no matter how tempted you are to get more juice. The jelly will be cloudy if you squeeze.
Yield: 3 1/2 cups beach plum juice
The second step is to make jelly:
3 1/2 cups beach plum juice
6 cups sugar
3 ounces liquid pectin (1 pouch)
Place all the above ingredients in large saucepan and mix well. Bring to boil over high heat and boil hard for 1 minute stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam with the back of a spoon.
Pour into the prepared jars (note below). Cover jars, seal, and let stand until set. Jar lids will pop when sealed.
Note: Sterilize the jars by placing them in a large pot, cover with water, and boil for 10 minutes. Place the lids and rings in a separate pot, bring to a bowl, then lower to keep warm.
Sarah Waldman is a home cook, certified health counselor, recipe developer, and mother living on Martha’s Vineyard. She is the author of Feeding a Family: A Real-Life Plan for Making Dinner Work. Follow Sarah’s island adventures in cooking local, seasonal, wholesome family food at www.sarahwaldman.com.