I live in wine country. I have a lot of wine. I am often gifted wine. I tend to drink lighter bodied reds, and many whites so I end up with a stockpile of "bigger" reds. This fact, plus my perennial philosophy to never cook with bad wine leads me to search for meaningful and interesting ways of cooking with some delicious wines I just don't happen to have the time to drink by the glass. I look for ways that can express the wine, not just help in cooking the other ingredients. I feel this recipe for Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Plums does just that. There was a spiced plum note in the wine that carries on. They pair well with my Elderberry Ice Cream, and would be a great accompaniment with thanksgiving turkey or pork tenderloin.
For five 250 mL jars of these delicious, not too sweet plums:
3 cups water
2 cups cabernet sauvignon wine
30 medium plums, halved, pits removed
1/2 cup local honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon
10 cloves (2 per jar)
5 whole star anise (1 per jar)
Juice of 1 lemon
I have taken these instruction for sterilizing your jars from The Spruce. If you already know what you are doing with canning, then skip over to the ingredient preparation :)
What You Need
If you don't have a home canning kit, you will need a few items to complete the sterilization process, including canning jars, a boiling water canner or large pot with a rack, and a jar lifter. The canning jars should be made of tempered glass with a two-piece vacuum cap (the metal screw band and flat, rubber-lined metal lid). If you are using a large pot, it needs to be at least two inches taller than the jars and be fitted with a rack and a lid. And if you don't have jar lifters you can use tongs.
What to Do
Once you have all of your equipment in place, the actually sterilizing should take about 25 minutes or so.
- Place the empty jars right-side-up in the boiling water canner or large pot. You may use the same pot you will be using as a boiling water bath to can the jars once they are filled with food.
- Completely cover the jars with hot (but not boiling) water—the water should be one inch above the top of the jars. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
- Once the water reaches a full rolling boil, begin timing. Boil the jars for 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat. If you are not quite ready to fill the sterilized jars and proceed with canning your recipe, you can leave them in the hot water for up to one hour. If you wait longer than an hour, you'll need to sterilize them again.
- Remove the jars using jar lifters or tongs and drain well.
Note: Do not boil the canning lids as this can harm their adhesive rings. Instead, add the canning lids to the hot water after you turn off the heat when the jars have finished boiling.
Put the water, wine, honey, cinnamon and lemon in a pot together and bring it all to a boil, then bring it down to a simmer while you place 12 plum halves (6 plums altogether) into each jar. Ladle in the canning liquid, careful not to spill as it really is a nuisance if the lids get sticky they're hard to open later! Leave about a 1 inch space from the top. Drop in 2 cloves and one star anise to each jar. Place your seal around the jar, and carefully wipe down the jar thread. Tighten your lid. Apply to all 5 jars.
Put all the jars back into the canning pot with water up the lid, and bring to a boil, but not a rolling boil! Leave them in this hot bath for 15 minutes. Remove them from the heat. Let them cool, and store them in a cool dark place. They are best after 3 weeks and on, into winter. Enjoy!
Note: I did the same process and recipe with pears too. They were also delicious!