Sterilize jars and lids. Prepare water-bath canner. Combine water and sugar in a 5-quart pot. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add orange zest, star anise and cinnamon...

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Makes 2 quarts

– 2½ pounds plums

– 3½ cups water

– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 3 strips orange zest (1-by-3-inches each)

– 3 star anise

– 3 cinnamon sticks

1. Sterilize jars and lids. Prepare water-bath canner.

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2. Combine water and sugar in a 5-quart pot. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add orange zest, star anise and cinnamon sticks. Simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and set aside 45 minutes for syrup to infuse with the spices. Discard orange zest and spices.

3. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add plums and time 30 to 60 seconds, until skins just begin to crack. Drain and rinse briefly with cold water. When cool enough to handle, peel the fruit and add to the syrup. Reheat gently over medium-low heat for 4 minutes.

4. Pack fruit firmly into the hot canning jars. Ladle hot syrup over plums, leaving ½-inch headspace. Wipe rims with clean paper towels. Adjust hot lids and bands.

5. Use canning tongs to place jars in boiling water bath. Process 25 minutes; begin timing when water returns to a boil. Remove jars and place on a clean kitchen towel. Let cool 12 hours before checking seals. Store in a cool, dark place up to 1 year for best quality. Once opened, keep in refrigerator up to 10 days.