Beach plums are indigenous to Nantucket. You can find Beach Plums growing in sand dunes and along the edges of roads. They bloom in the Spring and are covered with little white flowers. A late summer fruit, they generally ripen by Labor Day but keep your eye out in August as sometimes they ripen early. We enjoy making heart shaped pastries with homemade Beach Plum Jelly. Here is a delicious recipe for you to try…
Beach Plum Jelly
- 3 cups beach plum juice (see recipe below)
- 6 cups sugar
- 1 bottle (3 ounces) liquid pectin (like Certo), or one packet of dried Certo pectin.
Making the Beach Plum Juice
10 cups whole beach plums
2 cups water
1. Wash plums, remove the stems and put the fresh fruit in a stainless pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil until the Beach Plum skins begin to crack. Drain and discard water. Return the plums to the pot, ad enough boiling water to barely cover, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until the fruit is soft. Mash with a wooden spoon or a potato masher once or twice.
2. Filter the juice through a commercial jelly bag made with several layers of cheesecloth suspended over a large bowl. Allow it to drain until no more juice drips through, overnight to obtain the maximum amount. The temptation is to squeeze the bag but you don’t want to do that or the jelly will be cloudy.
Now to make it into Beach Plum Jelly…
3. Next put the beach plum juice, sugar and pectin in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly.
4. Skim off the foam with a spoon or with paper towels.
5. Use 10-oz. Ball jars, which have vacuum-sealed tops. Make sure jars are clean and dry. Be sure to heat the jars before pouring in the hot liquid so they don’t crack with the abrupt temperature change. Pour the hot liquid jelly into jars. The jars seal automatically by turning the jar upside down immediately after closing.
6. Let the Beach Plum Jelly stand for four hours, or until it has set. Use the jelly in a recipe or save it for later. Keep in refrigerator or, if sterile-packed, store on a cool dark shelf.