A gift from a friend – a boxful of red cherry plums.
You might think the obvious choice is to bottle them (like Fowlers/waterbath method). However, should you be so inclined if you have some of these plums, forget it. The skins will remain bitter no matter how strong a sugar syrup you use – even after a couple of years in the jar.
Jam is quite nice of course, but taking the pips out of them for the purpose is a pain to say the least.
I’ve chosen to make Worcestershire sauce with them – as per the photo. The mixture looks very unprepossessing I know, but the flavour is great. It needs another hour or two’s boiling, then I will strain it overnight.
In the morning it will be bottled off and put out on the stall at our gate, where it will join a whole range of other preserves both sweet and savoury. I’ve made quite a few over the last few days.
Another thing you can do with these red cherry plums is make a cordial syrup. It may sound unusual, but it’s very tasty indeed, not too sweet either. We made some in the cooking class here yesterday.
An added advantage is that it is far less likely to set than say, blackcurrant (if you are not careful to avoid rapid boiling, or if the fruit is too fresh).
I’ve just replenished the stall as stock got low over the last couple of days. All the preserves are gluten free, with the exception of the barbecue sauce.
It’s a great time to make the most of the exquisite seasonal fruits of the Valley. It’s a preserver’s paradise as the flavours that can be achieved are wonderfully intense.
Drop past the stall if you are out and about – I will be sure to keep plenty of jars out there. There’s relishes, jams, pickles, cordial syrups, kasoundi, jellies in several different flavours (red/white currant, jostaberry, blackcurrant), chutneys and piccalilli.
Incidentally, if anyone would like some bread made with my specially prepared (Derwent Valley) hop yeast, let me know. I will take orders up until 9pm this evening, in time to set the ‘sponge’ for the bread overnight.