Plum Rum Conserve
I used to put up this conserve as a Christmas gift for friends.

       1 1⁄2 cups white raisins
       1 1⁄4 cups currants
       1/2 cup rum (preferably dark rum)
       3 medium seedless oranges
       6 cups sugar
       3 lbs. plums – they should be ripe and tart. Prune plums are good right now.

       Steep raisins and currants in rum for several hours, turning occasionally.

       Peel oranges, removing the white membrane, and dice pulp.

       Boil orange rind until tender. Remove all the white part from the rind and then julienne the zest into one-inch slivers. Sprinkle with 1⁄2 cup of the sugar.

       Pit and dice the cherries or plums. Combine with rum-steeped fruit, orange pulp, and the rest of the sugar. Cover this mixture and the orange rind, and let both sit overnight in the refrigerator.

       Combine the fruit mixture and the orange rind the next day in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook 30 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently.

       Pour into 6-oz. jars that have been sterilized by submerging in boiling water. Stir to release air bubbles. If you have no patience for paraffin, store in the fridge and tell your lucky friends to refrigerate your gift at once.

       Makes 10 to 12 jars.

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