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How do I? ...Can Fruits

Selecting, Preparing and Canning Fruit

Plums-Halved or Whole

Quantity: An average of 14 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 9 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel weighs 56 pounds and yields 22 to 36 quarts – an average of 2 pounds per quart.

Quality: Select deep-colored, mature fruit of ideal quality for eating fresh or cooking. Plums may be packed in water or syrup.

Please read Using Pressure Canners and Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Stem and wash plums. To can whole, prick skins on two sides of plums with fork to prevent splitting. Freestone varieties may be halved and pitted. If you use syrup, prepare very light, light, or medium syrup.

Hot pack – Add plums to water or hot syrup and boil 2 minutes. Cover saucepan and let stand 20 to 30 minutes. Fill jars with hot plums and cooking liquid or syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

Raw pack – Fill jars with raw plums, packing firmly. Add hot water or syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

Adjust lids and process.

Processing directions for canning plums in a boiling-water, a dial, or a weighted-gauge canner are given in Table 1, Table 2, and Table 3.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Plums, halved or whole in a boiling-water canner.
  Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 3,000 ft 3,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot and Raw Pints Quarts 20 min
25
25
30
30
35
35
40

Table 2. Process Times for Plums in a Dial-Gauge Pressure Canner.
  Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time (Min) 0 - 2,000 ft 2,001 - 4,000 ft 4,001 - 6,000 ft 6,001 - 8,000 ft
Hot and Raw Pints or Quarts 10 6 7 8 9

Table 3. Process Times for Plums in a Weighted-Gauge Pressure Canner.
  Canner Pressure (PSI)
at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time (Min) 0 - 1,000 ft Above 1,000 ft
Hot and Raw Pints or Quarts 10 5 10


This document was adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 2009.

Reviewed November 2009.

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