Monday, February 15, 2010

The fruits of our foraging part two

A month late here are a couple of pics of the end results of our foraging expedition. I have discovered that a good camera is a neccesity for a food blog, and mine died just after Christmas. I have only just retrieved the plum jelly and plum sauce photos from David's Blackberry. Recipes follow:

Plum Sauce

This recipe comes from a perennial favourite Australian Preserving with Fowler's Vacola. The resulting sauce is rich and mildly spicy. To use as a condiment the sauce should be left to mature for 3-6 months as it is quite vinegary. However it can be used straight away as a marinade and is fabulous on barbecued pork, chicken or tofu.

3kg plums;1kg granulated sugar (I use soft brown sugar for a more mellow result); 5 tsps salt; 2 litres brown vinegar; 3 tsps whole cloves; 3 teaspoons allspice berries; 2 tsps black peppercorns; 2 teaspoons ground ginger; 2 star anise.

Cut plums in half and remove pips (if this is too laborious leave pips in, they will float to the surface by the end of boiling). Combine plums, sugar, salt and vinegar in a large pan. Tie spices up in a cheesecloth square and add to the pan. Bring to the boil, uncovered, and cook gently, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick, dark and rich. This can take as long as 2 1/2 hours according to the depth of the mixture in the pan. Strain the mix through a coarse sieve (make sure you press the mix through with a wooden spoon to get all the goodies and leave only skins and pips behind). Pour into hot, sterilised bottles or jars and cap immediately. You can further preserve these by simmering in a hot water bath (or Fowler's preserver) for 20-30 minutes, but I find that pouring hot sauce into hot jars and sealing immediately creates the vacuum neccesary for the sauce to properly preserved.


When my children were little I used to make a little extra money selling jams and preserves at the Kallista Market. My recipe for jelly was fairly standard for any fruit (except quinces, a recipes for quince jelly is in this post)

Plums; water to cover(about 1.5 litres); 1/4 cup lemon juice; white sugar

Wash plums and cut in half. Place in preserving pan with water to cover. Bring to boil and simmer until plums are soft enough to break down with a wooden spoon. When cold, pour into a large square of cheesecloth in a colander which is resting in a large bowl. Tie ends together to make a bag, remove from colander and leave to drip overnight (I hang mine from the laundry sink tap with the bowl underneath, this prevents the splashes from making a complete mess of the kitchen). The next morning measure the liquid (do not squeeze the bag, this will result in a cloudy jelly), and for each cupful of liquid add a cupful of sugar. Return to clean saucepan with lemon juice. Bring to boil and boil rapidly until setting point is reached. Pour into hot, sterilised, dry jars. Seal immediately.


Margaret said...

Hello again Barbara, you've inspired me to do a plum sauce post! So nice to see photos of jellies too - my Mum is an experienced jelly maker and we are waiting on a promised crop of crab-apples! I am enjoying your photos and you're right, they really do enhance a post!

Amanda said...

Barbara, I love the delicate colour of your jellies! Just gorgeous.
Did you get a new camera?

Unknown said...

Thanks Margaret and Amanda. No no new camera yet, just making do with hubby's Blackberry until I can afford a good quality digital SLR!!