It is the peak season for yellow cherry plums, and in the Danish countryside, where my parents live, you’ll find them everywhere. They are growing at the field boundaries and along the roads, and maybe because there are so many of them, they are just left hanging on the trees (or is it bushes) since nobody cares to pick them. Some of the yellow cherry plums can be a bit dry to the taste, while others are juicy and nice, and it turns out they make a really nice preserve.
In Denmark most people call the yellow cherry plums mirabelles, but we also call real mirabelle plums from France, which are different from cherry plums, mirabelles. I found out this is also the case in Germany and the UK, so I was not sure whether to call the plums mirabelles or cherry plums in this recipe, but I decided to stick with what is apparently the correct name for those little yellow plums (or are they berries?). Here is the recipe:
Recipe – Yellow Cherry Plum Preserve
Ingredients: (makes 2 half pint jars)
4 cups yellow cherry plums
3 cups sugar
Pit the cherry plums and cut them in halves.
Bring the plums and the sugar to a boil and let it simmer at medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until the preserve has the desired thickness. That’s it, you’ve made yellow cherry plum preserve:)
I used jam sugar, which is granulated sugar with added pectin. Pectin is a naturally found in all fruits and berries, and when heated, this is what gives the preserve its jelly-like texture. The pectin concentration varies within species with lemons and apples among the most pectin-rich fruits, and within the ripening cycle. Ripe fruit has less pectin and is thus more difficult to jam. Cherry plums should contain enough pectin to make the preserve go thick, so you can do with regular sugar if you want.
You can check the viscosity of the preserve along the way by scooping up a bit of the preserve on a spoon and put it in the fridge for a few seconds, or you can use a candy thermometer and wait for the temperature of the preserve to reach 220F which is the gel point, i.e. the point when the preserve starts thickening.
Depending on how you choose to sterilize the jars, the preserve can last up to 1 year.