Wednesday, 12 September 2007


A bumper plum crop this year has resulted in much preserving and hunting down of receipes for plums. Of course fresh plums are lovely, as is plum crumble, plum tart, plum pie, plum cobbler and stewed plums. Eventually though with a freezer groaning with plums and friends refusing to take any more i made jam.

The receipe was very good...

Plum Jam
2.7 kg (6lbs) plums
2.7 kg (6lbs) sugar
knob of butter

Put all plums and 900ml water (1.5 pints) into a preserving pan and simmer until fruit is very soft and contents of pan are well reduced. (about 30-40 mins)

Take pan off heat, remove as many stones as possible.

Add sugar and stir, heat very gently until sugar dissolves. Add butter. Bring to boil and boil rapidly until setting point is reached.

Pot and cover.

Jam was not enough though to work through my plums which filled a crate. I hunted through some old receipe books and made chutney.

Spiced Plum Chutney

3lb (1.35kg) Plums
3 largish onions
1lb (450g) Cooking apples
1lb (450g) Seedless raisins
1lb (450g) dark soft brown sugar
1lb (450g) demerara sugar
2 cloves
2 pints (1.25 litres) malt vinegar
3 cloves garlic
2 heaped teaspoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons salt
2 small cinnamon sticks
1oz (25g) allspice berries - i didn't use these as i couldn't find any

Stone and halve the plums and put in large pan
Peel, core and chop apple and add
Crush garlic and add.
Add ginger, raisins, both sugars, vinegar
Sprinkle in salt and stir
Put cinnamon, allspice, and cloves in a bit of cloth, tie up and put into pan

Bring to boil and then simmer for 2-3 hours. Stir regularly to prevent sticking.

Put into steralized puts and keep for 3 months before eating.

This looks fine, but doesnt use many plums. However i had plenty of apples and onions too!

I still had many plums and now even my own family were refusing to eat them and so i made plum ketchup. This is actually rather good although a faff to make,but it has the benefit of using a lot of plums!

Plum Ketchup

8lb (3kg 600g) plums
8oz (225g) currants
1lb (450g) onion chopped small
2oz (50g) salt
1ld (450g) demerara sugar
2 pints (1.25 litres) distilled white vinegar

tie the following up in a piece of gauze

6-8 dried chillies
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1/2 oz (10g)root ginger crushed a bit first
1/2 oz (10g) allspice berries
2 garlic cloves peeled.

Stone plums and put in pan with currants, onions, and bag of spices.
Add 1 pint (570ml) of the vinegar
Bring to boil and simmer until soft

remove spices and liquidise the rest of the mixture until perfectly smooth. (You can sieve it too)
Rinse pan and return puree to it with bag of spices. Add rest of vinegar,salt and sugar.
Bring to simmering point and cook uncovered until reduced to about 3.5 pints, or 2 litres. (about 1.5-2 hours)

Prepare the ketchup bottles (old glass ones or preserving bottles) Boil them and their tops. Pour ketchup into bottles while they are still warm. Put the tops on but do not tighten them.
Put bottles in a pan, add warm water up to 4cm or 1.5 inches from the tops. Bring water to boil and boil for 10 mins.
Transfer bottles to a wooden surface and complete the sealing.

Now i just need to sort out my apples......

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