Where growing, making & good living come together

Wild plum/cherry plum ketchup

Posted by on Thursday 11 August 2011 in cooking, preserving, wild food | 2 comments

As I mentioned yesterday when discussing my SUPER AWESOME YUMMY jam (it’s gooooooood), I used the rest of our last plum-type fruit harvest to make some ketchup.

Last year, I made jam and spicy chutney but this year I was inspired by a tweet from Jono from Real Men Sow‘s tweet linking to a cherry plum ketchup recipe a few weeks ago.

Since it was a bit of a test, I quartered the quantities of Norfolk Kitchen’s original recipe (although accidentally only halved the amount of onion) and added about 10ml of Worchestershire Sauce as well the vinegar because I thought it would add some nice undertones. I also added a little water, maybe 100ml in total, while it was simmering as I thought it would be getting a little sticky for ketchup.

My quartered amount – based on 500g of plums – made more than I thought it would – 3 bottles full of sauce (this old Heinz bottle and two Encona ones). I imagine a week or two of “aging” will help the flavours develop but it’s already pretty tasty – fruity but savoury. It’s a lovely colour too – a proper full-bodied deep red – first taste with the eyes and all that ;)

Like Tracey, I’ll probably use it with things I wouldn’t normally Heinz up, like cheese on toast. I’m also interested to know how it will work with the Swillington Farm pork and plum sausages we have in the freezer – double plum action! :)

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This year’s wild plum/cherry plum jam

Posted by on Wednesday 10 August 2011 in cooking, preserving, wild food | 4 comments

I wasn’t planning to make any jam from the mysterious plum-like fruit that grows outside our kitchen window but when John said he wasn’t sure if he could be bothered making wine, I had to do something with our first harvest. And boy, am I glad I did.

It was about 1kg of mysterious plums (pre-stoning), about 300ml of water, about 750g of sugar and 2tsp of vanilla extract/flavouring.

I’m not sure whether it’s the vanilla or the fact that the plums were super mega ripe when I used them but YUM. I think it’s far nicer than last year (although to be fair, it is a while since I ate last year’s jam so I might be misremembering it/confusing it with something else).

I only made about 3lb because I wanted to make some ketchup with the rest of the plums I had to hand (that’s cooking as I type) but it’s so nice that I want to make more straight-away. Thankfully it looks like we’ll get a few more kilos of fruit yet!

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Wild plum/cherry plum jam recipe

Posted by on Monday 23 August 2010 in cooking, growing, preserving, recipes, wild food | 9 comments

So last week, we went fishing for fruit on the mystery fruit tree outside our kitchen window. We collected 5.5kg of the plum-ish fruit, probably sacrificed as much the floor gods, and there is still a fair bit up there (albeit not terribly accessible). We’re not sure if they’re wild plum or cherry plum as everyone seems to have different opinions on what constitutes one or the other. Whatever they’re called, they’re very tart but also very sweet.

John wanted to try making plum wine (more on that another time) so I only commandeered 2kg of the harvest for our first batch of plum jam. (I’ll do another smaller jamming once he’s decided how much wine he is making tonight.)

The recipe calls for preserving sugar but granulated sugar would work just as well – preserving sugar is more expensive but the bigger crystals result in a clearer jelly. You don’t need jam sugar (sugar with added pectin) as there should already be enough pectin in the fruit.

UPDATE: Just a quick note to say that in 2011, I added a few drops of vanilla essence to the jam and it added a lovely round flavour. I can’t remember exactly how much or when (I think it was after the sugar so it wouldn’t be cooking too long, but wanted to mention it anyway, because it was delicious :)

Wild plum/Cherry plum jam recipe

2kg of ripe wild plums or cherry plums
1/2 pint of water
1.5kg of preserving sugar (or slightly more if you want it sweeter)
The juice of a lemon/liquid pectin if needed

Jars (we misc old food ones – it probably fills about 6 x standard 450g/16oz jars, but have a seventh on standby just in case)
Waxed paper discs

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Fishing for fruit: catching wild plums with a fishing net

Posted by on Thursday 19 August 2010 in wild food | 4 comments

Over the last week or so, we’ve slowly been watching the mystery fruit (on the mystery fruit tree outside our kitchen window) turn from green to deep red. We had no idea that the tree was a fruiting one until green baubles started appearing earlier in the summer and still aren’t quite sure what the fruits are – we think it’s wild plum. As I said the other day, John thought they tasted almost peach-ish but yesterday our friend George taste tested our harvest and declared them to be plum.

Or mostly plum.

Or plum related.

We’re treating them as plums.

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