Vanilla Plum Kuzu Preserves

By Amelia Lundy
October 24, 2014
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Author Notes: Instead of the usual 2:1 ratio of fruit to sugar, I added a little blueberry juice (that's whole organic blueberry juice, with no added sugar or preservatives) to get the plums going and to lend bit more depth of flavor, along with a touch of maple syrup.
Since I use very little sweetener and the fruit is quite juicy, I use kuzu to help set up the preserves, especially since plums are not particularly high in natural pectin. If you are not familiar with kuzu, it's a starch that's also known as Japanese arrowroot and it looks like a white clumpy powder.
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Amelia Lundy

Makes: about 16 ounces

  • 1 quart Damson plums, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup good quality blueberry juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or half of one vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon vodka, lemon juice or red wine vinegar
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 1 star anise, 4 cloves (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons kuzu, dissolved in 2 teaspoons water
  1. Place all ingredients, except for kuzu, in a medium pot (heavy-bottomed is best) over medium-low heat.
  2. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to very low and simmer for 1 hour, until the plums have broken down and the liquid has reduced. Stir every 15 minutes or so to make sure there is no sticking to the pot.
  3. Make a slurry with the kuzu by dissolving it in the 2 teaspoons of water. Add to simmering plums and mix thoroughly. Bring plums to a low boil and let continue for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for another 20-30 minutes, until the liquid is thickened and reduced enough.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool 10-15 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and/or star anise, if using, and pour cooked plums into blender and run until smooth.
  5. Pour into a sterilized jar (or several small jars), seal and refrigerate.
  6. Spread on toast, grain-free almond muffins (as pictured) or dollop onto local grass-fed yogurt. Keeps for 2-3 weeks in refrigerator.

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