Saturday, July 24, 2010

Plum Paste

For some insane reason, I decided to make plum paste @ 9:30 pm.  By 12:30 a.m. I was finished. I can be soooo stubborn some times, it amazes even me.  I wanted to make this recipe when I first got the book,
Preserve-It by Lynda Brown.  It just sounded so good, I had to double the batch.  After much stirring and tasting this is the finished product.  On the back of the tag I wrote, Slice thinly and serve with cold meats and cheeses.  The paste is left to 'mature' in a cool, dark place for 4-6 weeks.
It goes through many flavor changes on the way to becoming a paste.  I added some lime juice and it added a nice undertone.  The final outcome is less sweet than I would have thought, with an intense plum flavor.  Well worth the effort. If you decide to make it, it helps to have a chinois set to strain it.  I don't know how, but I went down to the basement and found I have 2.  Kind of bizarre, but in a good way.

Plum Paste
from PreserveIt! by Lynda Brown

Makes 2 small Jars or 3 (5 ½ oz) ramekins

2 ¼ lbs plums, pitted and chopped
granulated sugar
1-2 T. butter (opt.)

Put the fruit in a large heavy bottomed saucepan with 1 ¼ cups of water; bring to a boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the fruit is reduced to a thick, syrupy pulp.  Crush the fruit occasionally with a potato masher or fork as it cooks.

Sieve the fruit in batches and collect the juice and puree in a clean bowl.  Measure the puree and add the sugar. (For every 2 cups of puree, allow 2 ¼ cups of sugar.  If the puree seems tart, use 3 cups of sugar.)

Put the puree back into the pan and add the butter if you wish (it softens and mellows the sharpness of the plums). Stir over low heat to dissolve the sugar and bring to a gentle boil.

Simmer very gently for 35-45 minutes or longer, stirring  often, until the pulp reduces to a black-purple glossy paste that ‘plops’ and sticks to a wooden spoon, or will leave a clear trail if the spoon is drawn across the bottom of the pan.

Lightly oil some warm sterilized containers, ramekins, or molds.  Spoon the paste and level the top.  Cover with discs of wax paper and seal with plastic wrap if leaving in their containers.  Otherwise leave to cool, turn out using a butter knife, and wrap in wax paper.  Label and store in a cool, dark place for at least 6-8 weeks before eating.

Stores for 2 years.

Just another plug for this book.  I love this book.  The recipes are simple and straightforward. It has beautiful pictures and does a great job explaining how different fruits and veggies can be used in a variety of ways.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty please can I have the recipe? Will swap for my savoury plum sauce recipe (which can be boiled down to a thickier paste for a yummy pizza base topping).