Will soon be available if they have not already put in an appearance. I am particularly fond of two varieties perhaps because I grew up with them that is the Victoria and the Black Diamond and my Nan used to bottle them and make wine from them. Her plum wine was to die for, light flavoursome and fizzy. Most people will know the Victorias but not so the Black Diamond. This was in particular my Grandfather's favourite plum and he had two trees. The plum is black purple with the most gorgeous yellow flesh that is oh so sweet. If I ever get the dream house and the garden both these varieties would be planted. I believe although do not know for certain that the Black Diamond is a rarity.
Anyways you ask why is the daft bat talking about plums. Well put quite simply its time to start using them if the are readily available in your area. Plum jam and plum jelly, or a combination of apple and plum. Plum jelly can be used as a base for sweet and sour sauce for when you do your own Chinese style stir fry. Also if you make plum jelly you can get a second dish out of the pulp that is left over as you can turn it into a cheese for serving with the cheese board. No point in wasting ingredients you have to get what you can out of them and if you can get a second preserve out of it then all power to your elbow and your pantry shelf.
You can also make Chinese plum sauce, chutney, the mincemeat by Pam Corbin and Chutney/Relish.
The latter two take longer to mature so ideally they should be made first but I always prefer first pickings for jam or jelly.
5 plump garlic cloves
10cm4 inch piece of fresh root ginger
2 green chillies deseeded and chopped
1kg/ 2 1/4 lb cooking apples peeled cored and chopped
675g/1 1/2lb sweet onions peeled and chopped
500g/ 1lb 2oz red plums stoned and chopped
360ml/ 12 fl oz cider vinegar
300g/10 oz white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
Using a small bowl of a processor or a mortar and pestle work the garlic, ginger and chillies into a paste.
Put all the ingredients except the sage into the preserving pan and bring to the boil stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
Over a low heat simmer the relish for approximately 40 minutes or until it is reduced and thickish. Stir in the sage if using and continue to simmer for about two the three minutes until it has reached its desired consistency.
I was taught that with relish and with chutney the way to test that the preserve was nearly done was to draw a wooden spoon across the base of the pan. if the chutney or relish has thickened up enough the line will remain drawn in the bottom of the pan. If it starts to fill in with vinegar and or the preserve it will need cooking for a little longer.
Pot the relish into hot sterilised jars and cover with vinegar proof seals. Label and store in a cool dark place.
Leave for about six weeks to mature on the pantry shelf before you actually start using it.
NB; You can use whatever plums you wish for, although this may have an effect on the colour of your preserve. You can even use wild plums.
It goes well with cold meats, grilled pork or cheeses and pork chops/slices.
Catch you later.
NB; Spot the deliberate mistakes - my gum I must have been tired