BLOCK ISLAND BEACH PLUM JELLY
10 cups whole ripe beach plums
2 cups water
6 ½ cups sugar
½ teaspoon butter
1, 3-ounce pouch liquid pectin
Rinse the beach plums thoroughly to remove any sand or debris.
Place the beach plums in a large pot with the water and bring to a boil. As the berries soften, crush them periodically with a potato masher. Reduce heat to a medium low and let cook at a low boil until the berries are all smashed and very soft, about 20-30 minutes.
Line a colander with cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl. Pour the berry mixture into the cheesecloth and let drain. Tie the cheesecloth around the berries into a sack and ‘hang’ the bag over the bowl and let the juices drip overnight.
Measure 4 cups of the juice and place it in a large stockpot. Add the sugar and butter to the pot and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute and then quickly add the pectin. Stir and boil 1 timed minute more.
Ladle the liquid into sterilized jars* and cover with sterilized caps. If you are canning, place the jars in a large pot of boiling water. They should be covered by 1-2” of water. Reduce to a low boil and process for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack covered with a kitchen towel and let cool completely. If they are properly canned, you will hear the tops ‘pop’ in the next hour and when you press the lids in the center with your finger they will not bounce back.
If you are not canning, the jelly will keep in the fridge for up to 2 months.
*To sterilize your jars, place them in a large pot of boiling water. Let them boil for 8-10 minutes. Carefully remove with canning tongs and place upside down on a clean wire rack over a kitchen towel. Place the tops in a small pot of boiling water and boil for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave them in the hot water until ready to use.