Beach Plum Jelly
Add one pound washed, ripe fruit to a large pot. Crush or prick with a fork. Add enough water to just cover the fruit, but the fruit should not float (approximately 8 cups of water).
Cook over a low heat and then bring to a moderate boil for 15 to 20 minutes, until the fruit is soft and losing its color.
Strain through one thickness of moistened cheesecloth or jelly bag.
Return the strained pulp to the pot, add another 8 cups of water, and boil for about 10 minutes. Skim of any froth that forms.
Strain again and save the juice. Mix the pulp and the juice, and concentrate by passing through four thicknesses of cheesecloth. Then add 6 cups of sugar and 2 ounces pectin and bring to boil again. Boil mixture 10-20 minutes. The mixture should thicken and is ready once it is thick enough so that two large drops forming on the back of a spoon meld or gel into one. Pour mixture into sterilized glass containers. Yield is about 18 ounces of jelly for every pound of fruit.
Beech Plum Jam
5 cups beach plums; use purple, red and a few green plums mixed for the high pectin content.
5 cups sugar
Sterilize jars and lids in boiling water.
Lightly chop pitted plums (with skins) in food processor.
Put chopped plums and sugar in a large pot. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
Test by putting a spoonful on a refrigerated saucer. Place the saucer back in refrigerator and check to see if jam “wrinkles” when pushed with a fingertip. This process may take as long as 35 minutes.
When jam “wrinkles”, remove from heat and spoon into sterilized jars.
Seal, and boil in hot bath for 10 minutes.
Beech Plum Sorbet
2 cups beach plums
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
¼ cup honey
Juice of 1 lime
½ cup orange juice
Boil beach plums with one cup of water until soft. Remove from heat & let cool.
In a separate pot, make syrup of one cup of sugar and ¼ cup of honey by heating until dissolved. Remove from heat and add juice of lime and ½ cup of orange juice. Let cool.
Take beach plum mixture and strain plums through cheesecloth, squeezing all the juices out into the syrup mixture.
Cool the entire mixture, then place in an ice cream maker. If you do not have an ice cream maker you can freeze the mixture, then aerate it with a hand mixer and then re-freeze.
Note: This version can be used to “cleanse the palette” between meal courses. For a sweeter dessert version, use 2 cups of sugar instead of the one cup sugar and ¼ cup of honey.
Beech Plum Cobbler
4 pounds beach plums, halved, pitted
1 cup sugar
2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 large egg
Vanilla ice cream
For filling: Preheat oven to 400F. Toss plum, sugar, cornstarch and vanilla in large bowl to coat. Transfer to a 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish. Bake until thick and bubbling at the edges, about 30 minutes.
For biscuits: Whisk flour, 3 tbsp.sugar, baking powder, salt and ¼ tsp. cinnamon in large bowl to blend. Add butter in with fingertips until coarse meal forms. Whisk ¾ c. whipping cream and egg in small bowl to blend. Stir cream mixture into flour mixture just until blended. Gently knead in bowl until dough comes together, about 5 minutes.
Remove beach plums from oven and stir gently. Break off golf ball size pieces of dough and arrange over hot plum mixture, spacing apart. Brush dough with remaining 2 tbsp. Cream. Mix remaining 2 tbsp sugar and ¼ tsp. cinnamon in small bowl. Sprinkle over dough.
Bake cobbler until fruit is bubbling, biscuits are browned and tester inserted into center of biscuits comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve hot or warm with vanilla ice cream.
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