Daring Cooks go Canning! Gingered Plum Butter

by Jenn on September 14, 2010

in Dairy Free,Daring Kitchen,Dips and Sauces,Flops,Gluten Free,Vegetarian

Gingered Plum Butter

Before coming to Europe, I thought that a plum was a plum was a plum.  Boy was I wrong.  Thanks to the wonderful varieties of produce available, I’ve learned that there are different types of strawberries, peaches, and beautiful plums.  Plums can be as black as charcoal, reddish, purple, or even green and yellow.  Round like little ping pong balls, or oblong like a football (an American football, that is).  Not only do all these varieties look different, but they have their own unique tastes and flavors too.  Each week this summer we decided to pick up a fruit that neither of us have had before, and buy some to see what we think.  So far the results have been quite tasty, and by tasting so many different types of produce we certainly never get tired of any one fruit!

But if I had to pick one stone fruit to have in my kitchen at all times, it would be these little green guys, the reine claude.  Frankly, it took quite a bit of bribing for my husband to allow me to set some aside, not to be eaten.  We can go through a kilo a day of these plums, they are as sweet as candy.  I knew they would just make a perfect plum butter, and I wouldn’t have to do much to them flavor or sweetness-wise.

The September 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by John of Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge The Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John’s source for food preservation information was from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Now I did cheat on this challenge.  I didn’t do any canning or freezing.  I don’t own a canning kit, and am not sure I’m ready to invest in a big pot & jars & lids & tongs etc. unless I know this is something I’m going to be doing a lot of.  Given that we don’t have a CSA or a garden where we have tons of produce trying to figure out what to do with it, I’m not sure how applicable canning really is in our day to day Summer lives.  According to our host the recipe I did probably wouldn’t be that suitable for canning anyways, because it wasn’t acidic enough to hold up safely over the long term.  He suggested freezing instead.  If we had leftovers, I probably would have frozen some, but how can one resist sweet plum butter?  If you are curious about making fruit butters and canning, I highly urge you to check out the pdf on the Daring Kitchen site.  There is a wealth of information I can’t even begin to condense neatly in a blog post.

So no freezing, no canning.  I just made the butter, let it cool, and then we gorged ourselves on it for the next few days.  I even baked a tarte/cake using the plum butter (and yet another tasty variety of plums).  Unfortunately, while the cake was quite pretty…the taste was not.  Totally over dried out, because I didn’t have the right pan and so had to bake it longer to cook the inside, making the rest way too done.  My husband still said he liked it, and some whipped cream definitely helped a bit.  But then, my husband is really nice to me, especially when something flops.

This Dessert was Awful

Yeah, I won’t even bother sharing the recipe on that one.  It’s ok, the plum butter came out great.  That’s something I can share with you.  And if you ever see little green ping pong sized plums in the store or a market, be sure to pick some up.  Because they are the freaking best plums in the world.

Gingered Plum Butter

Also submitted to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Friday Foodie Fix


Adapted from Apple Butter recipe on National Center for Home Food Preservation

1 kilo reine claude plums, pitted and quartered
1/2 c. green tea
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbs. ground ginger
2 tbs. sugar of your choice (I used coconut sugar)

1.  Add plums and tea to a pot and cook on med/med-low until the fruit has cooked down in volume (about an hour).
2. Purée, and return to the pot.  Add in cinnamon, ginger, and sugar.
3. Continue to cook on low heat, just simmering, until done (for me, another good hour).  Fruit butter is done when it holds its shape after cooling, and no separation occurs.
4. Remove cinnamon stick and pour finished plum butter into storage container.  If canning. freezing, etc., this is the time to follow the appropriate preservation directions depending on your method.  If you are just eating it (within a week or so), enjoy however you like!



Susi September 14, 2010 at 12:37 am

What a creative recipe! I love the flavor of plums but would have not thought to mix it with green tea! It sounds incredible!

Jenn September 14, 2010 at 12:51 am

Thanks! The green tea was really quite subtle, but I think it helped mellow things out a bit flavor-wise.

Kristen September 14, 2010 at 1:07 am

I have a Santa Rosa plum tree in my yard. Until moving to this house, I thought plums were pretty much the same, too. I learned my lesson quickly when harvest time came. Note to self: santa rosa plums do not make good prunes like Italian plums do. Your plum butter looks lovely. I haven’t tried those green plums before.

Jenn September 14, 2010 at 1:17 am

Yes, they are very different plums indeed! Yeah I had never seen them either until this Summer…if you ever get a chance to try a reine claude, definitely do!

Ruth H. September 14, 2010 at 1:35 am

The color of your plum butter is absolutely amazing! The sweetness shines through the pictures! I am sorry that the cake was overcooked. I hope you try it again, as it looks and sounds fabulous! We Americans really seem to know nothing of the wide variety of foods that are out there. Thank you for teaching us!! Great job!

Jenn September 14, 2010 at 7:21 am

Thanks! I look forward to trying a bunch of other different produce that I find as well!

fooddreamer September 14, 2010 at 2:07 am

I’ve never seen these little green plums! I adore plums and if these are sweet like you say, I know I’d love these. The plum butter looks wonderful too.

Jenn September 14, 2010 at 7:21 am

Thanks, I’m sure you would!

Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite September 14, 2010 at 3:25 am

I agree that Reine Claudes are the best plums in the world! I love your plum butter and I love that you cheated because I did too. Well actually Neil and I did. No canning for us either but some fruity yumminess :-) Gorgeous pics – pity about the taste of the cake…

Jenn September 14, 2010 at 7:23 am

Thanks! Yeah I was disappointed about the cake too…

Deanna September 14, 2010 at 3:49 am

Yum! I’ve never seen plums like that around here. But, I did get to try cherry plums this summer. Apparently, they’re a cross between a cherry and a plum. And, they’re yummy. If you see any of those, snap ’em up!

Jenn September 14, 2010 at 7:24 am

I’ve never seen cherry plums, those sound wonderful!

Rosa September 14, 2010 at 9:02 am

That plum butter must taste wonderful!



Jenn September 14, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Thanks, it was quite delicious!

Sara@Belly Rumbles September 14, 2010 at 9:07 am

I also thought a plum was a plum and how wrong was I. I love the look and the sound of the taste of those green plums look delicious. Plum butter was such a great idea.

Jenn September 14, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Thanks! I love learning about new produce to try!

Jenni September 14, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Wow! Your plum butter sounds amazing! I have never heard of little green plums before! How fun!

Jenn September 14, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Thank you!

InTolerantChef September 14, 2010 at 1:26 pm

My favourite plums are black inside and out. Very rich and strong flavoured. I’ve always wanted to try the green plums but not seen them for sale here before. Lucky you!

Jenn September 14, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I think I know which plums you are talking about, those are quite delicious!

Sophie September 14, 2010 at 2:41 pm

What a stunning plum butter!! I love this tasty recipe!!

i will surely make it!!

It looks so appetizing & ooh so gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooddddddddddddddddd!!!!!

Jenn September 14, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Thank you! Just remember because of the green tea, it’s not appropriate for canning, but I am sure it would freeze well :)

Mary September 14, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Your plum butter looks fantastic! I used a dark blue/purple Italian/prune plum for mine. It was great, but a totally different colour.

Jenn September 14, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Oh lovely! I really liked the plum flavor coming through in the fruit butter :)

outoftheoven September 14, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Your plum butter looks amazing! I have never seen those type of plums, but I hope one day I will stumble on some. I also love your addition of green tea – delicious!

Jenn September 14, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Thank you! Yes I hope you do get the opportunity to taste some!

chef_d September 14, 2010 at 7:45 pm

I’ve never seen those green plums before, but they look interesting. Your plum butter looks delicious, excellent job!

Jenn September 14, 2010 at 11:09 pm


Evelyne@cheapethniceatz September 14, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Cheater! Ha ha kidding, I do not have a kit and was very uncautious but with good result. I LOVE discovering new foods, especially fruits. That reine claude plum looks fabulous.

Jenn September 14, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Ha! Yeah I totally cheated…. but really there was no way that plum butter was going to last long enough to need canning anyways 😉 Thanks!

torviewtoronto September 14, 2010 at 8:13 pm

lovely looks delicious

Jenn September 14, 2010 at 11:20 pm


Donna September 14, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Wow! Gingered plums sound amazing! Great job!

Jenn September 14, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Thank you! The plum butter went very quickly indeed, wish I had more!

Anna Johnston September 15, 2010 at 1:39 am

I love preserving but don’t have a huge family to feed so for now its just little things like your wonderful Gingered Plum Butter, which sounds amazing. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen green plums either, so will be keeping my eye out for these little beauties at the markets.

Jenn September 15, 2010 at 10:57 am

Thanks Anna! Def. try these plums if you get the chance!

Iris September 15, 2010 at 2:29 am

Love the rich colors in these photos! I’ve never canned anything, but I feel like it’s something I have to learn to do eventually.

Jenn September 15, 2010 at 10:58 am

Thank you! Yes, I should learn the proper way to can as well sometime…

Shree September 15, 2010 at 2:29 am

I do appreciate your honesty about the recipe’s outcome. Thanks for posting your thoughts on it. I love the main pic of the green plums. I’ve never had the chance to try these and now I will def try it.

Jenn September 15, 2010 at 10:58 am

ha, that’s why I didn’t share the recipe for the cake, because it wouldn’t be good! However the plum butter was fantastic.

GFree_Miel September 15, 2010 at 4:06 am

Jenn, those plums look divine! When I was a little kid, I would scream for plums. I’ve never had any like these before. I’m sure that plum butter is super tasty.

Those photographs are absolutely stunning. They caught my eye immediately. So vibrant.

Jenn September 15, 2010 at 10:59 am

Thank you Miel!

Sarah September 15, 2010 at 5:24 am

The green tea base was a such a creative idea! Great job with the challenge. I’ll have to keep an eye out for this varietal of plums. We only seem to have 3-4 types in NY.

Jenn September 15, 2010 at 10:59 am

Thanks! yes, def. keep an eye out for them – I’ve never seen them in the US, so not sure how easy they are to find…but they are quite abundant here en Suisse…

Lisa@bakedinmaine.com September 16, 2010 at 3:12 am

Wow Jenn~ I’m soooooooo excited to make this Ginger Plum Butter!!!!!! I’m feelin’ daring and let’s hope that I can find some little green plums!!!!
Yeah baby!

Jenn September 16, 2010 at 3:12 pm

I would love to know if you are actually able to find these plums in the US, that would just be fantastic!

Aubree Cherie September 18, 2010 at 11:58 pm

This look SO GOOD! I love plums but they never seem to make it into a recipe, I always eat them plain as soon as their ripe :)

~Aubree Cherie

Jenn September 19, 2010 at 4:09 am

Thanks! Yes this is often my problem as well, I’m glad I was able to keep a few to make this butter!

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