Love Me Tender, Love Me Sweet

Ontario’s tender fruit is in season now – enjoy a tasty treat

Summer is in full swing, and so are Ontario’s peaches, pears, plums, cherries, nectarines, apricots and Coronation grapes. Pick up an array of these sweet treats while they are at their most ripe and flavourful at your local grocery stores, on-farm markets and farmers’ markets across the province.

“Our hardworking farmers are harvesting a bounty of healthy, delicious tender fruit for you to enjoy right now,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “I invite everyone to eat, drink and be ‘cherry’ this summer with Ontario’s terrific tender fruits.”

“Summer is here, and that means consumers across Ontario can enjoy the sun and the wonderfully sweet tree-ripened fruit that farmers have nurtured over the spring,” said Sarah Marahall, Manager of Ontario Tender Fruit Growers. “We encourage everyone to overindulge in peaches, nectarines, plums, grapes, apricots and pears before the trees and vines take a rest in the fall.”

Ontario’s tender fruit is delicious and nutritious. Peaches, nectarines and apricots are a good source of vitamin C, while pears are a great source of fibre. Plums are high in potassium, and cherries and grapes are high in antioxidants and folic acid.
Recipe: Plum Ginger Jam

You’ll need about 2 lbs (1 kg) of plums (about 15 medium) for this recipe.

To remove pits from plums, cut in half through the stem and twist to separate the halves. Repeat, cutting the half that still has the pit in half, then twisting the stone from the center. This technique helps a lot when the pits are tightly imbedded in slightly underripe fruit.

INGREDIENTS
5 cups sliced pitted red plums 1.25 L
1 3/4 cups water 425 mL
1 tbsp lemon juice 15 mL
2 tsp grated gingerroot 10 mL
5 cups granulated sugar 1.25 L
DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pot, combine plums and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until softened. Stir in lemon juice and ginger. Bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
2. Add sugar in a steady stream, stirring constantly. Return to a full boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium-high and boil rapidly, stirring often and reducing heat further as mixture thickens, for 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened. Test for setting point (for details, see page 19).
3. Remove from heat and skim off any foam.
4. Ladle into sterilized jars to within 1⁄4 inch (0.5 cm) of rim; wipe rims. Apply prepared lids and rings; tighten rings just until fingertip-tight.
5. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes (for details, see page 20). Transfer jars to a towel-lined surface and let rest at room temperature until set. Check seals; refrigerate any unsealed jars for up to 3 weeks.

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