Cherry Plum Rum Preserves

by autumn on September 1, 2015

Cherry Plum Rum Preserves // Autumn Makes & Does

You’ll have to forgive me for sneaking one last cherry recipe in here at the beginning of September.

Earlier this summer, I was picking a lot of these tiny red plums off of Paul’s grandma’s tree. I was so grateful for them! The ratio of flesh to pit is very small and they’re clingstone, which means that the pit doesn’t release easily from the flesh. I’m afraid these little plums–they really are about the size of a cherry–get the reputation for being a bit of a nuisance. Well, I made quick work of them with my cherry pitter and couldn’t have been happier.

Someone on instagram did mistake my itty bitty red plums for cherries, which got me thinking about combining the two here. I was working with beautiful sweet cherries from The Washington State Fruit Commission as part of their canbassador program to help highlight all the awesome ways to preserve the beautiful stone fruit like cherries that comes out of the state each summer.

I suspected that the sweet cherries would be an ideal foil for the tart backyard plums, plus I got a kick out of the idea of leaving them both whole in the preserve since they look so similar, so you didn’t know which one you’d get from bite to bite. “You know you’re a fruit nerd when…” 🙂

I used a recipe from the fantastic Saving the Season as a blueprint here, employing a different variety of plums, not chopping them, and swapping in some aged rum. The pectin in the plums makes the set on this just lovely. The result is tart, has a nicely booze-y depth and has an uncanny resemblance to cranberry sauce. I’m thinking this will definitely make an appearance around our Thanksgiving table this year.

Cherry Plum Rum Preserves // Autumn Makes & Does


Cherry Plum Rum Preserves

yield about 5 half pints

adapted from Saving the Season, by Kevin West

  • 2 pounds sweet cherries, pitted and sliced in half/torn in half with your fingers
  • 2 pounds cherry-size red plums, pitted like a cherry and sliced in half/torn in half with your fingers
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup aged rum
  1. Combine the pitted and halved cherries and plums with the sugar and lemon juice.
  2. Fold the mixture together and allow it to sit for at least an hour for the fruit to begin releasing its juices. Optionally, you can cover and refrigerate the mixture overnight.
  3. When you’re ready to cook it, prepare your jars.
  4. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil that cannot be stirred down.
  5. Cook until the mixture begins to sheet off of your spoon or spatula and/or passes the plate test. Place a dollop of jam on a plate and place the plate in the freezer for a couple minutes to rapidly cool the jam. Remove the plate from the freezer and
  6. Add the rum and cook for one minute more.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Ladle into prepared half-pint jars leaving ¼ inch headspace and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude as needed. More info on water bath processing here.


Disclosure: I received the cherries for free as part of the Washington State Fruit Commission’s canbassador program, but my opinions are my own.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough September 2, 2015 at 7:08 pm

Cherries, plums and rum all together? LOVE. IT. Pinning!


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: