I had a customer from Kansas order a Mehu-Liisa Steam Juicer to process his harvest of Sand Hill Plums. These plums grow in Kansas, Oklahoma, Ozarks and over toward Georgia. They are a sweet-tart plum that does well as jelly, juice and wine. Click HERE for a Kansas Forest Service Link to info on Sand Hill Plums.
It is interesting to note that the plant is very thorny and forms dense thickets. This makes it ideal habitat for birds for nesting, perching and “loafing” as the forest service document puts it. I love the idea of birds loafing in a thicket. I wonder what they are talking about? Also, the thickets are effective as wind screens and erosion control.
Here are some interesting links:
Click HERE for a short blog post on a cultivated sand plum orchard grown from wild plants.
Click HERE for two brief recipes for jelly and fruit butter using Sand Plums.
Click HERE for a bunch of recipes from Cooks.com.
I found a few videos on YouTube about making jelly and jam with sand plums. It was interesting to note that the cooks all used the mashing, boiling, straining process to make their jelly. I think they would all love the Mehu-Liisa Steam Juicer. With the Mehu-Liisa there is no mashing, straining or cheese cloth involved. Just place the fruit in the basket, process for a short time and then draw off clear, concentrated juice that is ideal for jelly. The spent pulp can be worked back into the juice if a jam is preferred.
I would love to hear about folks favorite regional fruit. Any fruit that is special to a location and not widely cultivated. Please send me stories of your use of the fruit, any recipes or memories you may have of it. Check back for more posts on regional fruit.
Take Care – Daniel