Sweet and Spicy Plum Sauce

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Ingredients

  • 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

Method

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.

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Additional Notes

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.

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