Easy Pickled June Plum Recipe: A Guide to Zesty Preserves

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Written By Hot Thai Restaurant

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Imagine biting into a tangy, crisp pickled June plum, a delightful treat that brings a burst of flavor to your palate. Originating from the lush tropics, the June plum, with its unique blend of sweet and tart, has been a favorite in many cultures. It’s not just enjoyed fresh but also shines brightly when pickled, offering a zesty twist that can elevate any meal.

Pickling June plums is an age-old tradition that transforms the fruit into a versatile condiment. Whether you’re looking to add a punch to your charcuterie board or give a tangy contrast to rich dishes, these pickled delights are your go-to. Ready to dive into the world of pickling? Let’s explore how you can create this tantalizing treat right in your kitchen.

Ingredients

Ready to transform June plums into a delightful pickled condiment? Here’s what you’ll need to get started.

Main Ingredients

  • 10 June plums, washed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
  • 1 small piece ginger, about an inch, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Equipment Needed

To embark on your pickling journey with June plums, you’ll need some specific tools. Having the right equipment will not only ease the process but also ensure your pickles are delicious and safe to consume. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Large Glass Jar or Ceramic Crock: A clean and sterile jar is critical for storing the pickled June plums. A size of 1 gallon is generally sufficient, but you may opt for smaller jars if that suits your needs better.
  • Stainless Steel Saucepan: You’ll use this for boiling the pickling solution. Ensure it’s stainless steel to prevent any reaction with the acidity from the vinegar.
  • Wooden Spoon: This will be used for stirring your mixture. Wood is a preferable material because it won’t react with the pickling ingredients.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Precision is key in pickling, so make sure to use these for accurate measurements of vinegar, water, sugar, and spices.
  • Funnel: This tool will help you transfer the brine into the jars without any spills, keeping your workspace clean.
  • Ladle: A ladle will be necessary for scooping out the hot brine to pour over the plums in the jars.
  • Cheesecloth: If you prefer your pickling spices not to mix directly with the plums, use a cheesecloth to bundle them up.
  • Canning Tongs: Optional, but incredibly helpful for handling hot jars during the filling and sealing process.

Preparation

Before diving into the pickling process, it’s crucial to prepare your June plums and pickling jars correctly. This will ensure your pickled June plums are delicious and safe to eat.

Cleaning and Slicing June Plums

Start by washing your June plums under cool running water to remove any dirt or debris. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel. Using a sharp knife, carefully remove the stone from each plum. Depending on your preference, you can either slice the plums into thin wedges or cut them into halves. This not only helps in even pickling but also allows the flavors to penetrate more deeply into the fruit.

Sterilizing Jars

Proper sterilization of your jars is key to preventing any bacterial growth during the pickling process. First, wash the jars and lids in hot, soapy water. Rinse them thoroughly to ensure no soap residue remains. Then, to sterilize, place the jars and lids in a large pot filled with enough water to cover them completely. Bring the water to a boil and let it boil for at least 10 minutes. Carefully remove the jars and lids with the canning tongs, placing them on a clean towel to dry. This method guarantees that your jars are perfectly sterile and ready to be filled with the sliced June plums and pickling solution.

Pickling Solution

Crafting the perfect pickling solution is key to developing the rich, tangy flavor of your pickled June plums. This solution not only imparts taste but also preserves the plums, ensuring they stay delicious for months.

Making the Brine

To start, you’ll need to prepare a simple brine solution. Here’s how to get it just right:

  1. Measure the Ingredients: For every pound of June plums, mix 4 cups of water with 1 cup of white vinegar. This ratio provides a balanced acidity, crucial for both flavor and preservation.
  2. Dissolve the Salt and Sugar: Add 2 tablespoons of kosher salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar to the vinegar-water mixture. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring continuously until the salt and sugar dissolve completely. This step is vital as it forms the base of your pickling liquid.
  3. Cool the Brine: Once the salt and sugar are fully dissolved, remove the mixture from heat and let it cool to room temperature. Cooling the brine before adding to the plums ensures that the fruit retains its firm texture.

By following these steps, you create a brine that’s robust in flavor and ready to transform your June plums into a delectable pickled treat.

Adding Spices

Spices are the heart of any pickling solution, adding depth and complexity to the pickled June plums. Enhance your brine with these aromatic spices:

  1. Gather Your Spices: You will need 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns, and 2 whole cloves for their warm, earthy notes. Additionally, include a cinnamon stick for a hint of sweetness and a bay leaf for its savory flavor.
  2. Toast the Spices: In a dry pan over medium heat, toast the spices for about 2 minutes or until they become fragrant. This step releases their essential oils, which intensifies the flavors infused into the pickling solution.
  3. Add Spices to the Brine: Once toasted, add the spices to the cooling brine. Let them steep as the brine cools further, allowing the flavors to meld perfectly.

Incorporating these spices will elevate the pickling solution, giving your June plums a uniquely aromatic and tasty profile that is sure to delight. By carefully preparing the solution and enriching it with spices, you ensure that your pickled June plums are not only preserved but are irresistibly flavorful.

Assembling the Pickle

Once you have your sterilized jars and flavorful brine ready, it’s time to assemble your pickled June plums. This process is crucial for ensuring the flavors meld beautifully and the plums preserve properly.

Packing the Jars

  1. Start by placing your prepared June plums into the sterilized jars. Make sure to leave about a half-inch of space at the top of each jar to allow for the expansion of the liquid.
  2. Tightly pack the plums to minimize air pockets but be careful not to crush them. This will maximize their exposure to the brine and ensure even flavor distribution.
  3. If you like, add a few extra spices as you layer the plums for an even more distinctive flavor. Options include a bay leaf, a few peppercorns, or a sprig of fresh herbs.
  1. Carefully pour the cooled brine over the plums in the jars, ensuring to cover them completely. The brine should reach just below the rim of the jar.
  2. Use a clean chopstick or a small spatula to gently poke around in the jar, which will help release any trapped air bubbles.
  3. Once all air bubbles are released, check the level of the brine again and add a little more if the plums are not fully submerged.
  4. Seal the jars tightly with their lids. This step is critical to create an airtight environment that will properly pickle the plums.
  5. After sealing, gently shake each jar to ensure the brine and spices are well distributed.

By following these steps, you’ll ensure your pickled June plums are perfectly prepared for fermentation and storage, leading to a delicious, tangy treat.

Sealing and Storing

After ensuring your pickled June plums are perfectly submerged in the brine, the next critical step is sealing and storing the jars to maintain freshness and flavor.

Sealing the Jars

Ensure each jar is wiped clean around the rims to remove any spilled brine or fruit particles. This helps create an airtight seal. Place the sterilized lids on each jar and screw the bands on tightly. However, ensure they are not overly tight, which could interfere with the sealing process during cooling. Once sealed, process the jars in a boiling water bath for about 10 minutes to secure the lids and eliminate potential contaminants. After processing, remove the jars using tongs and let them cool on a towel or a cooling rack, ensuring they do not touch to allow even cooling.

Storage Recommendations

Store your sealed jars of pickled June plums in a cool, dark, and dry place like a pantry or a cellar. Avoid areas with direct sunlight or drastic temperature changes. Properly stored, your pickles will keep for up to a year. After opening a jar, ensure you refrigerate it, and consume the pickles within a month for best taste and safety. Always use clean utensils when removing plums from the jar to prevent contamination.

Serving Suggestions

After meticulously pickling and storing your June plums, you’ll surely want to explore the best ways to serve and enjoy them. Here are some delightful serving suggestions to enhance your meals and impress your guests:

  • Charcuterie Boards: Add a tangy twist to your charcuterie board with slices of pickled June plum. Their unique flavor pairs wonderfully with cured meats, a variety of cheeses, and crispy crackers.
  • Salads: Toss chopped pickled June plums into your favorite salads. They inject a vibrant, sour punch that balances well with leafy greens and a creamy dressing.
  • Grilled Meats and Fish: Complement the smoky flavors of grilled meats or fish with a side of pickled June plum. The tartness of the plums cuts through the richness of fatty meats, making each bite refreshingly balanced.
  • Sandwiches and Wraps: Elevate your sandwiches and wraps by including thinly sliced pickled June plums as an ingredient. They add a fantastic crunch and a burst of flavor that revitalizes traditional recipes.
  • Cocktails and Beverages: Create stunning drinks by using pickled June plum as a garnish or muddled into cocktails for an unexpected flavor twist. Their sweet and sour profile can be a game-changer in your beverage creations.

Conclusion

Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge to pickle June plums confidently you can start experimenting with this tangy delight in your kitchen. Whether you’re spicing up a charcuterie board or adding a zesty twist to your meals these pickled gems are sure to impress. Remember the key is in the balance of brine and spices so feel free to adjust according to your taste. Happy pickling and enjoy the burst of flavors in your next culinary creation!

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