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Nici Wickes: When life gives you plums, make plum sauce

Author
Nici Wickes,
Publish Date
Sat, 12 Feb 2022, 10:10am
(Photo / File)
(Photo / File)

Nici Wickes: When life gives you plums, make plum sauce

Author
Nici Wickes,
Publish Date
Sat, 12 Feb 2022, 10:10am

Plums. They seem so quintessentially New Zealand to me. Growing up, we had a huge plum tree in our back yard that I would spend many afternoons climbing its lichen-laden branches. Collecting bucket loads of tart and juicy fruit from where they’d fallen was a summer ritual and seeing them turned into cakes, slices, sauces and more was even better. 

Makes 5-8 medium jars/bottles 

  • 3 kg plums, make sure you count how many you put in the pot so you know how many stones to extract! 
  • 1 kg brown sugar 
  • 1.5 litres vinegar 
  • 6 tsps salt 
  • 50g chopped ginger 
  • 3 tsps whole cloves 
  • 2 tsps whole allspice 
  • 2 tsps black peppercorns 

You will really need a preserving pan for this quantity but if you haven’t got one, halve the recipe and use your largest pot instead. 

Tie the spices in a muslin bag or a clean cut up nylon stocking is ideal. 

Place all ingredients in the pan and bring to the boil then simmer until the plums are all squashy. About an hour. 

Now the fun part - to remove all the pips (which you have counted). A lot will have floated to the top but the rest will have to be found before you blend your sauce. 

With a stick blender puree the sauce and bring back to the boil then simmer for a further 45 minutes or until it thickens. 

Bottle into sterilised jars and/or bottles. Screw on the lids.