Survival Foraging & Gardening

A Recipe for Foragers: Wild Plum Jam 2 Ways

If you are a whitetail hunter, late August and early September offer an opportunity to lay up some wild plum preserves that will pair with your fresh venison roast the way a big, ballsy cigar mates with Chattanooga Whiskey 1816 Reserve. On the other hand, if your freezer still has hold-outs from last years harvest, this recipe offers a perfect opportunity to make room for your 2015 venison. There are several different ways to prepare wild fruits for preserves, jams, and jellies. This easy method starts with washed and whole fruits, rather than pre-cutting and pitting.

2 ½ to 3 pounds of wild plums
2 to 3 cups water
5 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
3 to 4 jalapeno peppers, finely diced
¼ pound crispy peppered domestic pork bacon, or ¼ pound wild boar Irish bacon

1. Wash the plums. Put in a saucepan
2. Cover plums just to top with cold water
3. Add sugar and salt
4. Simmer the mixture until the skins split and release the pits.
5. With a slotted spoon remove pits as the bubble to the top.
6. Continue simmering the concoction until the juice thickens on a dipped spoon without dripping.
7. Remove to a colander and drain over large bowl.
8. Remove any remaining pits and squish juice, pulp, and skins through.
9. Place half of the diced jalapeno peppers/bacon in the bottom of 8oz. sterilized jelly jars.

10. Fill jelly jars to ½ inch below the jar tops. Sprinkle the remaining half of jalapenos, or bacon on top.
11. Seal jars and place in a pot. Fill with water to cover approx 1″ above the cover
12. Bring water to a simmer and simmer for approx 10 minutes.
13. Take jars from water bath and place on a flat surface until the lids seal.