Plums are in abundance right now and will be for September so is the time to raid your neighbours tree or buy them at their cheapest. If you are looking for some inspiration as to what to do with them check out our guide to the easiest and tastiest plum recipes. Also – remember plums are great frozen so be sure to stew some and enjoy them throughout the winter. Add a vanilla pod and a pinch of cinnamon or mixed spice, and some sugar if the fruit is quite tart.
Some of these recipes will also make lovely christmas presents so a little bit of effort now could pay off in a few months when you are scrambling around for some extra gifts.
Try making a spiced plum compote with five spice, port, vinegar, cinnamon and orange juice and zest. Delicious served with roast pork.
- 1.5 Kg plums
- 1.25 Kg granulated sugar
- 400ml water
- Halve and stone the plums. you can crack a few of the stones, get out the inside kernels, put into a basin and cover with boiling water. Leave for a few minutes then drain them clean off the reddish brown skin off – it will give the jam an lovely almond like flavour.
- Put the plums, skinned kernels and 400ml of water into a pan. bring to a simmer and cook gently until the fruit is tender and the skin soft. May take 20 minutes depends on the size and variety of the plums.
- Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Bring to boiling point and boil rapidly until setting point is reached, usually 10 – 12 minutes.
- Take off the heat. If the fruit is bobbing about at the top of the pan then it may not be cooked enough if this happens cook for a few more minutes about 3 – 4.
- There is enough jam for 8 jars about 340g in each or what ever you have.
- This jam is lovely on rice puddings or on Ice cream.
Spicy Plum Chutney – A fruity chutney with a hint of garlic. (The Cottage Smallholder)
- 3lbs/1350g wild plums/damsons/eating plums
- 1lb/450g of apples (cored but not skinned). Chopped fine. Cooking apples are best.
- 1 lb/450g onions chopped fine
- 10.5 ozs/300g dried apricots (chopped at least into eight)
- 7 ozs/200g dried raisins (chopped into four)
- Half lb-1lb/225g-450g of soft brown sugar, depending on how sweet your wild plums/damsons/eating plums are. Use half a lb of sugar for eating plums but used 1lb for this batch as we were using wild plums (these are very tart like damsons).
- 2 large cloves of garlic chopped fine
- Half tsp of cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of allspice powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1and a half pints/750 ml of white wine vinegar
- 1 small hot chilli
- 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar
- 5 juniper berries
- 10 black peppercorns
- Stone the plums and if big enough cut into slices.
- Chop the apples, onions, raisins and apricots.
- Place all ingredients in a large heavy bottomed saucepan and bring slowly to a gentle boil. Turn the heat down immediately and simmer very gently (tiny bubbles just breaking the surface on the lowest heat) for at least five hours until the mixture has broken down and thickens.
- Stir from time to time and more towards the end. If your simmering point is higher than ours, your chutney will be ready sooner. Take a peek every half hour or so. The chutney will thicken as it cools.
- When ready pour into sterilised jars and cover with plastic lined metal lids.
Plum Vodka (or Brandy)
This works with vodka or brandy and i very easy with impressive results (the holy grail).
- 1 pint of your preferred spirit
- 1lb plums (keep them whole but prick them all over with a pin)
- 8oz sugar.
- Put all ingredients in to a wide mouthed container that can be sealed.
- Shake every day for 3 days.
- Store in a dark place for 2 months.
- Strain through muslin, bottle , seal and label.
- Put plums in to a jar, cover with vodka/brandy and seal.
2 for the price of one…the most amazing plum spirit and plums in Brandy too……you will strugle to give these away and will be tempted to eat them yourself!
Plum Crumble (Nigel Slater).
- plums, damsons, apple or pears - 750g
- golden caster sugar – 4 tablespoons
- a large knob of butter
For the crust:
- flour – 150g
- butter – 100g
- ground almonds – 50g
- golden caster sugar -70g
- rolled oats – 50g
- Set the oven at 190˚/Gas 5.
- Stone the fruit, though you will probably want to avoid stoning damsons. Put them into a deep pan on low heat with the butter and sugar and leave them to soften slightly. This will ensure they are meltingly soft and squishy.
- Meanwhile make the oat crust by rubbing the butter into the flour till it resembles fresh breadcrumbs. Stir in the ground almonds, the demerara sugar and the oats.
- Pile the fruit into a baking dish, the tip the oat and almond topping onto the fruit and bake for 30-35 minutes till the crust is crisp and golden, the fruit soft and tender.
Sticky Plum flapjack (Good Food)
- 450g fresh plums, halved, stoned and roughly sliced
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- 300g light muscovado sugar
- 350g butter , plus extra for greasing
- 300g rolled porridge oats (not jumbo)
- 140g plain flour
- 50g chopped walnut pieces
- 3 tbsp golden syrup
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Tip the plums into a bowl. Toss with the spice, 50g of the sugar and a small pinch of salt, then set aside to macerate.
- Gently melt the butter in a saucepan. In a large bowl, mix the oats, flour, walnut pieces and remaining sugar together, making sure there are no lumps of sugar, then stir in the butter and golden syrup until everything is combined into a loose flapjack mixture.
- Grease a square baking tin about 20 x 20cm. Press half the oaty mix over the base of the tin, then tip over the plums and spread to make an even layer. Press the remaining oats over the plums so they are completely covered right to the sides of the tin. Bake for 45-50 mins until dark golden and starting to crisp a little around the edges. Leave to cool completely, then cut into 18 little bars. Will keep in an airtight container for 2 days or can be frozen for up to a month.