SERVING: 8 pint jars

By: Chef John Besh

This is a very easy way to preserve sweet plums and then use them in many ways: I serve the tiny plums with everything from charcuterie to cheese and desserts, and I use the the syrup in a vinegar-based fruit reductions as a sauce for poultry.

NOTE: To sterilize the jars, bottles, and lids for preserves, place them on a rack in a large canning pot, fill with water to the tops of the jars and bring the water to a boil for 5 minutes. Then, use tongs to carefully remove the jars and bottles. Drain them upside down on a clean kitchen towel until ready to fill.

4-1⁄2 cups sugar
8–10 pounds sugar plums or other small plums

Put the sugar and 41⁄2 cups water into a large heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, until all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Pack the sugar plums into hot, sterilized pint jars. Ladle the hot syrup over the plums, leaving 1⁄4 inch of headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars clean, then place sterilized lids on top and screw on the rings.

Use tongs to put the filled jars into a canning pot; cover with water at least 2 inches over the jar tops. Bring to a boil and boil for 20 minutes. Use tongs to carefully remove the jars from the water; place on a kitchen towel. Allow the jars to cool completely before you move them.