We went up to Hawkes Bay to see the family for Christmas and Mum’s plum trees are laden with fruit at the moment so I filled a bag to bring home. Mum reminded me that last time I got plums I fell off the ladder so I was more careful this time. There were far too many to eat so I decided to make plum sauce. I dragged out my preserving books and trawled the internet but couldn’t find a recipe I liked so this is a mash up of an old Aunt Daisy recipe and the Chinese Plum sauce recipe from this book with my twist of roasting the plums to begin with.
1.2 kg plums
2 cinnamon sticks
3 whole star anise
1 dried chilli
5 green cardamom pods
2 cups apple cider or white vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
1/8 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp salt (only required if using low sodium soy sauce)
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp black or white pepper
3 cloves garlic crushed
Wash the plums and place in a baking paper lined roasting dish with the star anise, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods and dried chilli.
Place into an oven that has been preheated to 180ºC and cook for 30 mins. Remove from oven and allow to cool. The plums will have released lots of juice.
Once cool, remove the spices. Place a sieve over a clean bowl and scoop half of the plums into the sieve.
Using a spoon, push the plums through the sieve so that all you have left in the sieve are the skins and pips. You may need to scrape the bottom of the sieve a couple of times with a rubber scraper. Remove the pips and skins to another bowl and repeat with the remaining plums.
You will be left with a bowl of pips and skins
And a bowl of glistening plum deliciousness. Add in the extra juice from the roasting dish and stir to combine
Place the plum puree into a large preserving pan with the rest of the ingredients. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.
While the sauce is cooking, prepare your jars. Wash with hot soapy water, dry with a clean tea towel and place into a hot oven to sterilise. Put the lids into a bowl and pour boiling water over them.
When everything is ready, remove the jars from the oven and ladle the hot sauce into them.
Seal immediately with the hot lids and leave on the bench to cool. Store in a cool, dark place and once opened, refrigerate. This quantity of plums made 4 jam jars with a bit left over