Sunday, 7 August 2016
It has been plums galore: a gift from a friend. I made some plums into jam, and then finished the preserve off with some rum...not just any rum but some of my Rhum Bougainville, Vieux Domaine from Mauritius. I would perhaps have used Port normally...but we are out of it, and then I spied my bottle of Rhum which I brought back over 10 years ago.
1.3Kg prepared plums..stones removed, and chopped into smallish pieces
juice of a lime
2 tbsps rum any dark rum....
The fruit, juice, and hollowed out lime were cooked gently with 400g water for about twenty minutes, before the sugar was added. Stirring until dissolved, then brought up to a rolling boil, I stirred to pan to avoid any fruit catching, and checked for the 105C point, then also did the plate test. When I was happy, I allowed the jam to cool, removed the lime skins, and kept stirring a little at first to make sure no scum formed, then added the rum. Exactly five large 350g jars are now ready to have me design the labels, and store away.
There will be a jar for Janet of course, together with a couple jars of chutney. When I went to fetch the plums, I took over a jar of my courgette chutney, which having nicely matured is ready for eating.
It must be madness to be making chutney or jam when the weather is so hot...but preserve we must whilst the season's pickings are available. Janet emailed me and kindly offered several pounds of beautiful looking Opal dessert plums, just picked off her tree, which I picked up Friday evening. I was very pleased to accept as my tree succumbed to disease a couple of years ago.
With the heat, I was just not ready to do lots of research, neither did I want to go out shopping for cooking apples which are normally used in most plum chutneys. I therefore decided to revisit Moroccan Spiced Plum Chutney, which I had made back in 2013. Last time I used Victoria Plums and white onions, but this time I used red onions and have tweaked the recipe, grinding a mixture of my own spices as I was running out of Ras el Hanout.
1.75Kg Opal Plums, or any other mediums sized plums
625g red onions, peeled and chopped
175g stoned dates, chopped
500g organic cider vinegar
175g soft brown sugar
100g pine nuts, gently roasted
3tsp Ras el Hanout...I ground a blend of Black Peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, green cardamom, dried ginger, turmeric, salt, cinnamon, and dried chilli.
1.5 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1.5 tbsp cummin seeds crushed gently
1/2 tsp salt
The plums were all cut up, after being washed and the stones removed.
They went into the large pan, with all the other ingredients other than the Ras el Hanout and the pine nuts. After about ten minutes simmering, the rest was added, and with frequent stirring, the chutney started to thicken quite nicely taking another half an hour or so.
Meantime, I had the jars washed, and warming through in the oven. With a ladle and jar funnel, 7 large and 2 medium jars were filled. The jars now need to be stored in a dark place, and time allowed for the chutney to mature: two months should do it!