Cherry plums seem to be in abundance this year and often, after making a batch or two of jam, we are wondering what we can do with the remainder. Cordial syrup is a great choice. The red variety will turn out a sensational scarlet colour, the yellow ones not so much, but the flavour is still great.
The syrup, aside from its use as a cordial syrup, can be used as a coulis to have ready to hand at any time. Use as a topping for ice cream, or even to flavour a batch of homemade ice cream or panna cotta, or swirl into yoghurt. Add a teaspoon of the syrup to a gravy or casserole even, delicious.
You can also use cherry plums to make the sparkling fruit drinks by the way – just squish them a little as you throw them into the bucket. The fizz develops much sooner with plums than other fruit – maybe even after two or three days in the bottle, so watch for that and refrigerate as soon as this happens.
Cherry Plum Cordial
3kg cherry plums
12 cups water
3 teaspoons tartaric acid
¼ cup cider vinegar
Place the plums and water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Simmer 15 minutes, by which time the fruit should have released its juices and be very soft. Pour the mixture into a colander (with another pot underneath to collect the liquid), then strain the resulting fruit liquid through a fine sieve or another colander lined with a single thickness of muslin or other thin cloth.
For each cup of liquid, measure 1 cup of sugar. Bring this mixture to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat immediately to a bare simmer and cook for two minutes. Stir in the vinegar and tartaric acid.
Pour into warm sterilised bottles and seal immediately.
Use one part syrup to 4 to 5 parts of water or soda water.