Vanilla Plum Slices

Vanilla Plum Slices // savvyeat.com

I’m so excited about this recipe today, because plums! I adore a good sweet plum almost as much as I do a juicy peach, but plums are considerably more difficult to find around here. In the four and a half years we’ve lived in Ithaca, I’ve only found local organic plums in a large enough quantity to preserve once. Very few farms have them available for U-Pick (I can think of one), and they can be a bit pricey at the Farmers’ Market to buy more than a few for fresh eating. So this summer, we may or may not have caved and ordered a ton of organic plums from the local wholeshare group.  They were totally worth it.

I’ve already made up a few batches of jam this year – cherry, strawberry and blueberry – so while I made a small batch of plum jam, I decided that I needed to do something else with my remaining six pounds of black plums. After a little investigating, I confirmed that you can, in fact, preserve plum slices in the same way that you would peach slices. Just cover them with a medium syrup and process in a hot water bath canner. Super easy, and a nice way to get in a serving of fruit come winter.

We couldn’t resist eating a few of the plums fresh, and on first bite, I remarked on their subtle vanilla flavor. So I slid half a vanilla bean into each jar before packing the jars full of fruit. Over time, the vanilla will infuse into the syrup and fruit, enhancing the natural plum flavor. Can’t wait to pop one of these jars open this winter when I’m missing all the flavors of summer!

Vanilla Plum Slices

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 pint jars

Vanilla Plum Slices

Vanilla bean pods infuse these plum slices, enhancing their natural flavor. If you'd like to mix it up, or don't have vanilla beans on hand, try using a small cinnamon stick in each jar instead.

These plum slices are best straight out of the jar, but they would also be fabulous over ice cream or waffles.

Ingredients

  • 6 pounds black plums
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 cups water
  • 3 vanilla beans, cut in half crosswise

Instructions

  1. Prepare for canning. Wash the jars with hot, soapy water. Put the jars in the canning pot and cover with hot water. Heat over high heat to keep the jars hot. Place the flat lids in a heat-proof bowl.
  2. Cut the plums in half along the seam line and remove the pit. Slice each half into three equal slices.
  3. Stir the sugar and water together in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  4. Move some of the boiling water from the canning pot into the heat-proof bowl containing the lids. Line the hot jars up on a folded towel.
  5. Slip 1/2 a vanilla bean into each jar. Pack the plums into the jars, leaving just over 1/2" of headspace at the top. Pour hot syrup over the plums to leave 1/2" headspace.
  6. Use a plastic/wooden chopstick or a thin spatula to remove any air bubbles from around the edges of the jar. If necessary, add more syrup to bring the headspace back to 1/2".
  7. Use a clean towel to wipe any syrup off the rims, then top each jar with a lid and a tightened ring. Place the jars back in the canning pot and make sure they are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and process for 20 minutes. Place the jars on a folded towel and allow to sit, undisturbed, for 24 hours. Check the seals of the lids after 1 hour. If a seal has not formed, refrigerate the jar immediately.
http://www.savvyeat.com/vanilla-plum-slices/

PS: How to get started with canning. Plus, blueberries are in season – make some blueberry barbecue sauce!

Lemonade Shrub Cocktail

Psst: This post is sponsored by  UncommonGoods. Thanks for supporting the brands that help me run Savvy Eats.

For as much as I accumulate cute dishes for my food photos (and let’s face it, just for fun), my collection tends to focus mostly on bowls and vintage Pyrex. The one place I’m seriously lacking is my glassware – we have our regular drinking glasses, a bunch of wine glasses, and…not much else. Whenever I photograph cocktails, I inevitably end up borrowing cute glasses from my friend, Megan (three cheers for friends who also collect adorable dishware!).

Shrub Cocktail on SavvyEat.com

So when UncommonGoods reached out to me about reviewing one of their customized anniversary gifts (check out all the fun options here), I immediately went for the personalized glassware. We have been seriously missing Madison and Wisconsin in general lately, so the State Love Glasses were an obvious choice.

These pilsner glasses were just begging for a giant cocktail, so I didn’t want to make anything too strong. I wanted a light, refreshing summer cocktail that could easily be adjusted to have little to no alcohol for the hottest part of the day or for the abstainers at the party, or to have a little more alcohol for a cookout with friends.

Shrub Cocktail // Savvy Eats

For this shrub cocktail, I broke out the cherry ginger shrub I made a few weeks ago and mixed in the ultimate summer refresher: fresh lemonade. I stirred in just a little vodka and topped it off with some bubbly club soda. It is perfect for kicking back on the porch with company!

Glasses from UncommonGoods on savvyeat.com

Shrub Lemonade Cocktail

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 cocktail

Shrub Lemonade Cocktail

This lemonade cocktail gets its "zing" from a cherry ginger shrub . Feel free to substitute in another flavor of shrub (a blueberry one would be nice). Or, if you don't feel like taking the time to make a shrub, you can use a little splash of a fruit-flavored vinegar (just a little, not a full ounce!) instead.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce cherry ginger shrub
  • 1/2 cup lemonade
  • 1/2 - 1 ounce vodka (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups club soda
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. Stir the shrub, lemonade and vodka together and pour over ice. Top off with the club soda and serve.
http://www.savvyeat.com/lemonade-shrub-cocktail/

Visit UncommonGoods for more personalized anniversary gift ideas. About one-third of their products are made from recycled or upcycled materials, half are handmade, most are made in the United States and all of their items are special and unique!

Psst: This post was sponsored by UncommonGoods. All opinions are my own.