I still have loads of Wild Cherry plums to use up. I have run out of preserving bottles the freezer is full so I have been scouring my books to see what else I can find. I am rather partial to flavoured vinegars especially fruit ones served with goats cheese and salad. I have found this recipe which is taken from Country Harvest by Linda Burgess and Rosamond Richardson ISBN 0-85223-891-6. (If you haven't got this cookery book it is well worth looking out for it. It has some cracking recipes in using much of what is available in the hedgerows).
Anyway back to the recipe - the only reservation I have about this recipe is that it might be too highly spiced, the only way I will find out is to try it, and it might have to be adjusted a bit but it appears to be a versatile recipe utilising either the yellow/pinky plums (the ones that I have) or the purple bullace so you can choose your colour variation so to speak.
1lb wild plums (bullaces or damsons) halved and stoned
For the spiced vinegar
50g/2 oz whole mixed spices such as cinnamon stick; mace; cloves; allspice; peppercorns fresh root ginger; mustard seeds etc.
1.1 litres/2 pints/5 cups of vinegar
To make the spiced vinegar:
Tie all the spices in a muslin bag and put into the pan wit the vinegar.
Simmer gently but do not boil then remove from the heat. Cover and leave to cool for two hours. Decant into a large jar still with the spices and leave for 2 weeks to marinate. Put the bullaces or damsons or cherry plums into a wide necked bottle then cover the fruit with the strained vinegar and seal. Shake daily for a week then leave for three weeks before using.
Makes approximately 1.4 litres (2 1/2 pints/ 6 1/4 cups)