Last fall, some friends invited us to pick all the plums from their plum trees. Their house had just sold and they were moving, so they just wanted to the trees cleaned off. They didn’t want the new owners to have to deal with fruit falling off the trees making a mess right when they moved in.
We were happy to help them out, but I had no idea what we were going to do with all those plums. Of course many were eaten whole. They make a great snack (though they can be messy for 2-year-olds) and go great in sack lunches.
With the rest of the plums, we decided to make plum sauce and can it in quart canning jars. Freezing works great too, if you have freezer space to spare.
Making Plum Sauce
You can call it plum sauce or plum puree, but no matter what you call it, the process to make it is pretty simple. I didn’t take pictures of every step since back when I made plum sauce, Six Figures Under was only a figment of my imagination. Thankfully I did take a few pictures!
Wash plums and remove pits by cutting plums in half and popping out the pit. If the plums are ripe and juicy, the result might look like a crime scene.
Blend plum halves (skin and all) in your blender or food processor until you get a puree of an even consistency. This was back before we killed our secondhand blender by making green smoothies. We’ve since upgraded to the best blender in the world.
Bring the plum puree to a boil in a pot on your stove top. If you’re going to can it, you’ll want it to be hot when you put it into hot jars. If you are just freezing your plum puree, you can skip this step.
Canning Plum Sauce
You can freeze your plum puree, have it fresh, or preserve it in canning jars. This is going to look pretty much the same as canning homemade applesauce, including the processing times, so if you are interested in canning your plum sauce, check out my applesauce tutorial where the process is broken into simple steps with lots of pictures.
What to do with plum sauce
When we first made plum sauce I wasn’t quite sure what we would do with it. I had a few ideas, but the possibilities really opened up! Here are some of our favorites.
We eat lots of homemade pancakes around here. My husband isn’t a fan of sugary syrups, so we always have fruit on our pancakes. We’ll open a jar of applesauce, pear sauce, or plum sauce, or maybe even all three!
We save money by enjoying hot cereal more often than cold cereal. Adding a spoonful of plum sauce not only adds flavor, but it helps to cool down the hot oatmeal.
Substitute for Oil
You probably know that applesauce can be substituted for oil in baking recipes, but did you know that plum sauce does the trick too? Plum puree can be substituted for oil (1:1 ratio). Plum sauce does have a dark purple color, so it won’t exactly “hide,” but it works great in chocolate recipes (like brownies) or in pumpkin bread. It adds a zing of fruit flavor and some extra nutrition too!
We’ve found that green smoothies are one of the easiest ways to get our kids to eat veggies. Adding in some plum sauce adds color, flavor, and nutrition. It acts as a thickener too, just like homemade yogurt.
Now that we’ve incorporated plum sauce into our regular kitchen routine and love it, we will definitely miss it when we run out! Our friends with the plum trees moved away, so we lost our source of free plums. Thankfully we’re set for a while!
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Where’s the actual recipe I seriously don’t see one????
fran w. says
I’ve read that leaving pits in the fruit while processing plums bring about the best flavor. I like the ease of using my power pressure cooker, then straining the pits out after the purée cools.
Please recheck that because I’ve read if ingested the pit is poisonous. Just in case it releases any toxins when cooked.
What if you don’t have a blender?
Ball canning jar company, puts out freezer jam jars that work nice in the freezer, if you don’t mind using plastic jars. I would just make sure to cool down the sauce first before filling the jars. They have two sizes and they stack nicely in the freezer.
How do you package this for the freezer?
I’ve made apricot purée with free apricots. We add it to lemonade to make a “fancy drink.” I bet plum lemonade would be yummy!
Yum Lisa! Fancy lemonade sounds luxurious! 🙂
I’m familiar with Asian plum sauce, but never thought to make a plum puree. Sounds like it would be a great addition to our veggie muffins for the little one. Thanks for the great ideas!
Yes! I use it in muffins too, just like I would applesauce! 🙂
my first batch are in the steamer now. used victoria plums so a lot lighter and less death scene in colour. Never bottled any thing before so wish me luck
That’s great Nicola! Way to dive right in!
This is wonderful. I will be sharing this on my company’s facebook page. We pack plums, as well as apples, peaches, and prunes. Thanks so much!
How neat Mari! Thanks for sharing!
Alvena burton says
I have frozen bags of plums and don’t know how to use them.howdo i make a plum sauce and what recipes used in
The picture of the plums in the bowl is disturbing without context 😉 but you had me at pancake topping. I’m so hungry now!
Yes… it’s a crazy picture. It can be a messy job! No nightmares please!