Friday, 4 October 2013

What to do with tons of plums including a great plum jam

I've been meaning to write this post for a couple of weeks which means that probably all your plums will have fallen but you may still be able to find some in the shops. And, if not, hopefully it will be useful for next year.

A fortnight ago we spent a weekend with some old friends (old as in we've had them for a long time not that they're ancient) who had a plum tree that was absolutely laden with fruit.

We'd thought of doing a bit of preserving but ended up having to think of other ways we could bring plums into the day's eating which included supper for nine.

This is what we made:

Roast plum relish and salsa

A plum salsa from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's Guardian column. We didn't have any lime so I used lemon. This was really good - I'd definitely make it again. We had it with chicken but it would be even better with lamb.

A roast plum and onion relish to go with the cheeseboard. Just because I wanted to see how it would turn out if you roasted plums. Slightly dull is the answer. Don't bother.

Baked amaretti plums from a Woman and Home recipe for which we used an ancient (and on this occasion I do mean really old) bottle of cream sherry rather than the recommended marsala. Also delicious and incredibly easy.

A spiced plum chutney from the Woman and Home site. We didn't have any raisins so we used a mixture of dried cherries and cranberries. It tasted pretty good when we'd finished but it needs to mature another couple of weeks.

And this incredibly good (though I say so myself) plum jam which I invented largely to compensate for the plums' lack of flavour. The pomegranate molasses made it so don't leave it out and it needs the cinnamon too. Note there's far less sugar than in most recipes so it'll be a bit runny but add more if you want.

Plum and pomegranate jam
Makes about 4 x 400g jars

1 kg plums
250g preserving sugar
300g granulated sugar
3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
6-8 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
100ml water

Halve the plums, twist and remove the stones, then cut into 2 or 3 pieces. Place in a large saucepan or preserving pan with the sugars, pomegranate molasses, cardamom pods, cinnamon and water. Place over a very low heat until the sugars have completely dissolved then bring to the boil and boil hard for about 15 minutes until the jam is set. Skim off any scum, fish out the cardamom pods, rest the jam for 10 minutes then pot into hot, sterilised jars*.

* If you don't know how to sterilise jars there's a useful post here.


Joy said...

I cooked the plums with a couple of star anise before adding the sugar and boiling to setting point - it is absolutely delicious!

Fiona Beckett said...

@Joy - star anise is great with plums too!