Last week Master Wolf, Miss E and I were staying at my Mum’s house in the Southern Highlands while Papa J was renovating his dad’s bathroom in the Kangaroo Valley.
As I was walking around the local fruit and veg shop I saw plums on special. I mentioned this to mum and she suggested we make some spicy plum sauce.
It is always lovely cooking with my mum, and it’s a shame we don’t get to do it more often. Last time we were down at her place we made some beetroot relish and an eggplant and tomato chutney with eggplants from our garden.
Plum sauce is pretty versatile. It goes really well with pork and chicken and you could use it as a stir-fry sauce or a marinade. Once you’ve had homemade plum sauce, it’s hard to go back to the supermarket stuff.
We had a look at a couple of recipes and settled on an adapted version of the Plum Sauce from The Australian Women’s Weekly Book of Preserves.
Note: Usually we try to eat refined sugar free, but I didn’t mind too much this time as we don’t eat a lot of sauce and we don’t eat it regularly. If I was making this at home, I probably would have just substituted the brown sugar for Rapadura sugar.
Spicy Plum Sauce
Recipe adapted from the Australian Women’s Weekly Book of Preserves
3kg plums, pitted and chopped
3 cups brown sugar or Rapadura sugar
4 cups apple cider vinegar
1.5 tsp whole cloves
2 tsp peppercorns
4 cinnamon sticks
5 star anise
1 long red chilli, cut into pieces
10cm fresh ginger, peeled and bruised
You will also need some muslin to make a little bag for the spices to save you picking them all out at the end.
Combine plums, sugar and vinegar in a large saucepan, stirring over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Tie up the spices and ginger in a double layer of muslin and add to the pan.
Bring to the boil and cook for about an hour or until a good sauce consistency. It may take longer. Stir often to stop it sticking to the bottom of the pan. The recipe makes a large batch, so if you just want to make a few jars worth, cut the quantities in half.
Plums, sugar and vinegar
Mix of spices, ginger and chilli ready for the muslin bag
Muslin bag all tied up
Mum and I over the stove – photo courtesy of Papa J
Muslin bag amidst the plums