Plums are coming into season, and are relatively inexpensive at the store, so I was pleased to find a hundred-year-old recipe for Plum Conserve. Conserves are a type of jam or marmalade that often includes citrus fruit, raisins, and nuts.
In addition to plums, this Plum Conserve contains a peach, an orange (including the peel), raisins, and pecans. It has a beautiful purple hue and is delightful on scones, baguettes, and other breads. It is also lovely with cheese (think brie and crackers).
Here’s the original recipe:
This recipe makes a lot of conserve. When I made the recipe, I halved it and I still got about 8 half-pints of Plum Conserve.
Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:
2 quarts tart purple plums (about 2 pounds) – Plums that are not quite ripe work well in this recipe.
1/2 cup raisins
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
Remove stones from plums and coarsely chop. Remove skin and stone from peach (I dipped the peach in boiling water for about 30 seconds, then slipped the skin off.); coarsely chop. Remove peel (and any excess white pith) from orange, and coarsely chop. Finely chop the orange peel.
Place the chopped plums, peach, orange, orange peel, and raisins in a dutch oven or large saucepan. Bring to a boil using medium heat while stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes, then stir in the sugar and pecans.
Continue to boil gently for 30-40 minutes or until the mixture is the consistency of jam. Stir frequently — especially towards the end of the cooking time.
A good way to tell if the mixture is the right consistency is to lay the spoon that is used for stirring on a plate. Allow the liquid clinging to the spoon to cool for a few seconds, and see if it has a jam-like consistency.
Pour mixture into hot one-half pint jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Wipe jar rim and adjust lids. Process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes.
26 thoughts on “Hundred-Year-Old Plum Conserve Recipe”
It looks like it would be good to have with ice cream or yogurt.
Great idea – it would be tasty with ice cream or yogurt.
I’ve never known what a “conserve” was. Now, I do. I wonder if the name came from the fact that it was a good way to conserve summer fruits.
I don’t know where the name came from, but your suggestion makes sense to me. It’s a great way to conserve fresh fruits.
What an interesting concoction!
Love the combination of plums with peach and orange. Looks very tasty.
The combination of fruits works well together.
So this is what a conserve is. Sounds delicious to me, especially with brie. Thanks for the recipe and background info.
It’s nice to hear that you enjoyed this post. I did some “googling” before I made this recipe to try to get a better understanding of what conserves are. Several years ago I posted a hundred-year-old recipe for Cranberry Conserve that was more of a jellied salad. I really like that recipe and make it every year at the holidays – but I now think that it is not a typical conserve. I also think that if less sugar was used in this recipe that it might make an interesting fruit salad.
I went to read the Cranberry Conserve recipe and it looks like my late aunt’s Cranberry Relish that she made at Thanksgiving. Different name for about the same thing. I know that my aunt said it was an old family recipe.
Relish might be a better name for the cranberry recipe. It’s definitely one of my all-time favorite hundred-year-old recipes.
I’ve never considered including orange before. It seems a good idea. Peach? Not sure what that would bring to the party. What did you think?
I was surprised that the recipe called for both peach and citrus, but they both worked well with the plum. The peach flavor is very subtle in this recipe.
This does sound good! I agree that it would great topper for yogurt.
I agree- I do think that it would be a great topper for yogurt. I’m going to have to buy some plain yogurt the next time I go to the store and give it a try. 🙂
Oh yum! This sounds delicious! Thanks for including a printable version, as that’s what I’m doing next.
I think that you’ll like it.
I love plums. Nothing better than plum jam on fresh baked bread, but I might switch it up for these.
If you like plums (and nuts), this is a recipe for you.
I am learning to make pies. How about a plum conserve Pie????
Hmm. . . maybe it would work as a pie filling . . . or maybe you should just make a plum pie. Here’s a plum pie recipe that I posted several years ago.
Old-Fashioned Plum Pie
That does look good! My mom tried to make plum jelly once, but they never “set up.” So we used them as sauce instead, and it was quite tasty!
It’s always so tricky getting jelly and jams to set – especially if pectin is not used. This conserve is not as firm as many modern jams.
Thanks for this recipe.