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Low-Sugar Plum Spread
1 h 45 m
“This simple homemade fruit spread has less than one-fourth the calories and one-third the carbohydrate grams of a common commercial variety (you can trim those numbers even further by opting for no-calorie sweetener). Cooking the plums in fruit juice with apples allows you to sweeten the spread without an excessive amount of sugar and take advantage of the natural pectin in the fruit. This method also works well with strawberries, blackberries or peaches.
5 pounds plums, pitted and sliced (14-15 cups)
3 Granny Smith apples, washed and quartered (not cored)
¼ cup white grape juice, or other fruit juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¾ cup sugar, or Splenda Granular
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, or ginger (optional)
1Place a plate in the freezer for testing consistency later.
2Combine plums, apples, grape juice (or fruit juice) and lemon juice in a large, heavy-bottomed, nonreactive Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring. Cover and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is softened and juicy, 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is completely soft, about 20 minutes. (Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a gentle boil.)
3Pass the fruit through a food mill to remove the skins and apple seeds.
4Return the strained fruit to the pot. Add sugar (or Splenda) and cinnamon (or ginger), if using. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until a spoonful of jam dropped onto the chilled plate holds its shape, about 15 minutes longer. (See Tip.) Remove from heat and skim off any foam.
Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. For longer storage, process in a boiling-water bath (for detailed instructions, refer to www.homecanning.com or call the Home Canner's Hotline at 800-240-3340).
To test the consistency of the spread: Drop a dollop of cooked spread onto a chilled plate. Carefully run your finger through the dollop. If the track remains unfilled, the jam is done.