This week's Sweet Melissa Sundays was chosen by Margot of Effort to Deliciousness: plum raspberry preserves. Last summer the group made strawberry-ruby grapefruit preserves from the book using the same master recipe, and they were very good so I was pretty confident this version of the recipe would be yummy - especially with fabulous in season plums and raspberries! Fun fact - as I dug through my archives to find the post for the strawberry-ruby grapefruit preserves, I discovered that Margot hosted the recipe that week too. Someone is a big fan of preserves :) I'm not complaining at all though; this super quick and easy recipe was exactly what I needed this week! Today we're hosting a baby shower for one of my best friends, and in preparation I've been baking up a storm the entire weekend (I hope to be sharing some of the treats later I made soon) so it's unlikely that I would have had the time or motivation to participate were a more complex recipe chosen.
The preserves really are a cinch to throw together - if you can cut up fruit, you can make this recipe. This week we started with raspberries and unpeeled, sliced plums. I halved the recipe, using 4 plums and about a cup of raspberries. Sugar is added to the fruit as well as citrus zest and juice (I went with lemon juice and zest). The final ingredient is a granny smith apple, which is used as a source of natural pectin. Everything is thrown into a pot where it is boiled until the fruit breaks down and reduces to a sweet spread. It needs to be stirred occasionally, and you may want/need to mash the fruit a bit, but otherwise, you can tend to any other tasks you may have on your to-do list while the preserves do their thing. I didn't mash the fruit when I made the strawberry-ruby grapefruit preserves last summer, but because I left my apple chunks a little bigger this time, I wound up mashing them quickly toward the end of the cooking time.
The finished product was a gorgeous purplish-red color, thick and slightly chunky in texture and just sweet enough. The nice thing about recipes like this is that you can modify so easily to fit your needs/tastes - add less sugar if your fruit is quite sweet or change up the fruit if plums and raspberries aren't your thing. Although the preserves can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks, I'm going to share mine with my mom and step-dad as they're much more likely to eat them before they go bad than Shane and I are. Shane won't touch fruit, and as much as I enjoy the flavor of the preserves, they're just not something I eat very often. As Shandy pointed out over on the P&Q's this week, little jars of these preserves would make wonderful gifts around the holidays!
Many thanks to Margot for hosting this week! She'll have the recipe for the preserves on her site today or you can find it on pages 165-166 of The Sweet Melissa Baking Book.