The cherry-sized sand plum is ripe in early June and is a long-time
favorite with my family. I can remember going to pick sand plums along the
banks of theArkansas
River as a girl. They grew in abundance along the river banks then, but seem to
be much harder to find these days. Plus they are often hit hard by a late
frost. Sand plum jelly is a special favorite of my aunt's.
You can make the same jelly with beach plums --the season for beach plums starts
around the middle of August. The sand plum is a lovely pink when ripe. The
beach plum should be picked when red if you are making jelly. You'll also find
a recipe for my personal favorite -- Sand Plum Butter.
Wild Sand Plum Jelly
Wash sand plums (not to ripe) and cover with cold water. Cook
slowly until soft. Strain through double cheesecloth, squeezing gently. Strain
this juice through a jelly bag or a flannel bag (rinsed in hot water and wrung
dry). Allow to drip -- don't squeeze. Measure out 5 cups of juice. Boil ten
minutes and add 2/3 as much sugar as juice (original measure) and boil until it
gives a jelly test. Seal in sterilized jars.
Sand Plum Butter
plums and drain off juice. Rub pulp through a colander. Add back to juice and
cook as you would apple butter. (Yes, its really this simple!)
Need Sand Plums?
Most people who make Sand Plum Jelly and Jam have a secret picking location.
However, if you need to purchase your plums, visit
River Side Sand
Plums Orchard's website, located in Oklahoma's Sand Plum belt; they can ship
sand plums to you. Just call them for more information.