Filling up my pantry with jars has become inevitable in the summer, unless I stop shopping at my market. Even when I don’t plan buying anything for storage, there is always something so irresistible and beautiful, that when I finally come back home I see bags filled with fruit in quantities I’ll never manage to eat before they start rotting. The plums I saw were supposed to finish their existence in a pie, but I finally didn’t feel like baking for several days.
Trying to save the plums from the dustbin I started to look for something interesting to do and finally have chosen the plum sauce from “Jasmine Cuisine“, a lovely French Canadian food blog I have recently discovered. I modified the recipe aiming at a lazier version (e.g. I didn’t discard the skins as Jasmine did), so my sauce got very dark and wasn’t as beautiful as hers. I also added more spices, since my plums were a bit bland. In spite of that the result was surprisingly delicious and beautiful. The sauce goes perfectly with pork and is a yummy variation in sandwiches or on toast (must be also delicious with dim sum or other Chinese dumplings, as Jasmine suggests). ‘Somehow I feel this won’t be the last plum sauce I make this summer…
Preparation: around 1h 15 minutes+processing
Ingredients (my modified version, using 1 kg plums weighed before removing stones):
1 kg red round plums, weighed with stones
2 garlic cloves
1 big onion
180 ml cider vinegar (mine was 4,5%)
175 cane sugar
100 ml dry white wine
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground cinammon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 ground cloves
7 tiny pili pili (bird’s eye) green peppers, with seeds (if you want to obtain a very hot sauce)
Dissolve sugar in vinegar and wine, warming it on a low heat.
Remove the plums’ stones, add the fruit to the above mixture, together with all the remaining ingredients. (click here to read my tips on preserving with hot peppers)
Let it simmer for around one hour. Mix it in a blender. Pour back to the pan, adjust the taste if necessary and cook 15 minutes or more if you want your sauce to be thicker.
/At this point you can (after the sauce has cooled down) either freeze it, or keep it in the fridge for a couple of weeks, or process it in the jars, as described below, and store it in your pantry for at least a year!/
Pour the sauce, still hot, into sterilised jars. Cover with lids. Leave the jars to cool.
Place the cool jars into a big pan, bottom lined with an old kitchen towel folded in two (this will prevent the jars from breaking), cover up with hot – but not boiling- water to the level just below the lid. Bring to boil and keep on a very low heat, in simmering water, for around 20 minutes.
Stick on self-adhesive labels, write the name of the sauce and don’t forget to mark the date.
NOTE: For the readers who live in the USA, the USDA-approved canning method is different. You can find it described here: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/uga/using_bw_canners.html.