- 1 kg plums (halved and with stones removed)
- 2 onions
- 1/4 cup water
- 12 whole cloves
- 6 allspice
- 6 black peppercorns
- 2 cm length of cinnamon stick
- 2 cm length of peeled root ginger (skin removed)
- 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 3/4 cup soft brown sugar
- 1 tsp plain salt
- 1 1/4 cups malt vinegar
Wash and chop plums coarsely. Peel and chop onions.
Add both the plums and the onions to a large cooking pan, along with the 1/4 cup of water. Cook gently until soft.
Tie the cloves, allspice, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, root ginger and mustard seeds in a muslin bag using a length of string. Place the spice bag in the pan so that it is submerged in the plum/onion mixture and tie the end to the handle for easy removal. Add the brown sugar, salt and malt vinegar.
Cook uncovered, until mushy, then push through a colander or sieve.
Return the sieved pulp to a saucepan and simmer until it has reached the thickness of sauce required.
Bottle using your usual method in hot sterilised jars. Seal and store.
The easiest way to remove the skin from root ginger is by scraping gently with the curved edge of a small spoon.
This time round I used around 2/3 red-fleshed and 1/3 yellow-fleshed plums. Both had dark red skins.
I used the water bath method, heating the filled jars at 90C for 20 minutes.
This recipe makes around 600 – 800 mls, depending on how thorough you are with pushing the pulp through the sieve.
The sauce itself lasts a year and possibly longer. We tend to use it all before more than a year has elapsed.
As it ages it takes on a very rich dark colour, with a notable improvement in flavour.