Have I mentioned how much I love preserving fruit in booze? Because I do. It’s so simple and the results are so impressive. The other week when I was processing all those pounds of plums, I decided I didn’t want to make all 10 pounds into plum sauce. Then I remembered hearing about brandied plums. I did some searching, looked at a lot of recipes, and came up with a combo that sounds good to me, and most importantly was the simplest and would last for the longest amount of time.
- 1 lb plums, washed and destemmed
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 1/2 cups brandy
- 1 quart glass jar with tight fitting lid
Prick plums all over with a needle, then place gently in the jar. Top with sugar and stick in cinnamon stick. Add brandy until plums are covered by at least an inch of brandy. Close jar, and store in a cool dark place and swirl every few days. Plums will be ready to eat after 3 weeks of soaking. Use within 6 months.
One of the great things about this area is that a lot of people have fruit trees and gardens. That means that come summer, on a pretty regular basis you can walk into the break room and find piles of such things as squash, tomatoes, peaches or melons. This year, my boss had a bumper plum crop. Since he knows I like to can, he dropped off 10 pounds of fruit on my desk. Since I’m already doing pretty well in the jams category, I decided to try something different. A little Googling led me to this recipe for so-called spicy plum sauce.
Having now made it myself, I would say 2 things: it’s definitely not spicy, so add more pepper if you want more heat, and it took forever the recipe to reduce, so I kind of gave up and now have a slightly thinner plum sauce. I plan on using it as a dipping sauce for dumplings, to marinate tofu with, or pour on my stir fried eggplant later this summer. You meat eaters out there would probably love it on chicken or pork. Finally, this is a water bath processed preserve, so please follow steps 1 to 3, and 8 to 14 from last week’s post on jam, modifying as noted.
Spicy Plum Sauce
- 4 lbs plums, quartered and pitted
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 in ginger, peeled OR 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 3 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp ground mustard
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 6 to 8 half-pint jars OR 3 to 5 pint jars
In a blender or food processor, process plums, onion, garlic, and ginger if using fresh until smooth. Combine with remaining ingredients in a large, non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil, then allow to simmer uncover, stirring frequently, until the mixture has reduced by 1/3, about 90 minutes.
Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 in headspace. Hot water bath process for 15 minutes.