The plum trees are full and ready for the picking along with the apples, the last of the citrus are falling and finally stone fruit is cheap in the supermarket. It seems that Autumn is on its way and the time is ready for preserving.
This is just a quick post, and maybe a tad annoying for those who like measurements, to remind you that all those yummy preserves don’t need to be sugar laden. For some years now I have been creating marmalade, plum jam and plum sauce without the aid of sugar and instead just use honey as a sweetener when needed. It definitely takes a little longer and a bit more watching, for me though the results are worth it – refined sugar free stockpiles to get us through winter.
So far I have only used plums (jam and sauce) and citrus (marmalade) which have been a success. With jam I pretty much just cut the fruit then half cover with water and then boil until fruit is soft and the liquid has reduced a fair bit. At this point I take it off the heat and taste before adding a bit of honey and reducing further. The rest of course is the heat the jars and bottling the stuff up to enjoy :). It is a trial and error process but not too strenuous if you are around the house anyway.
Here is a Plum Sauce recipe I have adapted out of the good old kiwi Edmonds Cookbook
- White Vinegar to cover
- Honey to sweeten
- 1 or 2 cloves chopped garlic
- black pepper to taste
- ground cloves (amount depends on plum amount 1 tsp for 1.4 kg plums)
- ground ginger (amount depends on plum amount 1 tsp for 1.4 kg plums)
- ground mace (amount depends on plum amount 1/2 tsp for 1.4 kg plums)
- cayenne pepper (optional)
-Cut up plums and cover with vinegar. Add the spices and garlic.
-Bring to the boil, stirring frequently and continue boiling until mixture is pulpy.
-Take off the heat and taste then add honey to your desired sweetness (sometimes the plums have already done the job).
-Return to the boil to reduce down a little further but still leaving runny enough for a sauce. You can then bottle like this or blend the mixture first depending on how smooth or chunky you like your sauce.
The sauce is great as a base on pizzas or as a side to home-made chips (fries) and a definite favourite around here!
Hope this finds you enjoying the sweetness of the season and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve used other fruit to make preserves without refined sugar:)