spicy plum barbecue sauce

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes
Makes: 1.2 litres

2kg plums, pitted and quartered
200gm onions [2 medium onions] finely chopped
750ml white wine vinegar
400g soft brown sugar
4 medium cloves of garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cardamom

1. Grease the base of the pan lightly with oil or butter. Combine the ingredients in a large pan. Stir over a low heat without boiling, until the sugar has dissolved.

2. Bring to the boil, then very gently simmer the mixture, covered, for about 40 minutes, or until the fruit has broken down and is pulpy. Take care not to overcook, so it is too thick and dry to puree. Stir occasionally during the cooking to check the mixture is not sticking or burning.

3. Rub the mixture through a large sieve or a food mill or blend in batches. Return the mixture to a clean pan. Test the consistency. [See below- Test when ready to bottle.] If the consistency is ok, bring to the boil and bottle immediately. Otherwise, cook until it has a thick but pourable consistency.

4. When ready, spoon the sauce into warmed sterilized jars. Use a skewer or the long handle of a spoon to remove any air bubbles. Cover with a lid and seal immediately.

5. Leave to cool. Label and store in a cool dark place and leave to mature for at least 2 months before eating. Use within 12months of making. Once open, store in the refrigerator and use within 6 weeks.

Tips:

• Sauces, which are made from vegetables, fruit, sugar, spices and vinegar, are cooked until they have thicken but are still
of a pouring consistency. The cooking is long and slow. They need to be left for 2 months before eating to allow the
flavours to develop.
• Make sure your pan is large enough and preferably, is heavy-based. Do not leave vegetables or vinegar standing in
aluminium pans for more than an hour.
• Vinegar- use a good quality vinegar with at least 4% acetic acid [can be malt, white or red wine vinegar]. Cheap vinegars
do not contain enough acetic acid to act as a preservative.
• Sugar is not simply a sweetener but is also a preservative when used in high concentration as it acts to stop the
development and growth of micro-organisms. Brown or white sugar is used in sauces- brown sugar simply gives a richer
flavour and colour.
• Bottle [jars]- check there are no chips or cracks. Wash bottles and lids in a dishwasher or hot soapy water and rinse well.
Dry and sterilise the bottles in the oven. Place on a baking tray and leave in an oven [preheated to 120 degrees
Centigrade/Gas Mark ½ ] for 20 minutes or until ready to use.
• Cooking times can vary depending on the size of pan used, fruit and vegetables used, whether they are in season, their
water content, how gentle the simmering etc.
• Stirring- sauces need to be stirred occasionally to prevent sticking and burning on the bottom of the pan. Stir across the
base of the pan not just around the edge.
• Test for when ready to bottle – When you return the puree mixture to the pan, pour a spoonful of sauce onto a plate to
test the consistency which should be thick but pourable and that the sauce does not have any runny liquid separating out.
Keep cooking till you achieve this. Remember, sauce thickens further when cool.
• Alternative version: You can add 2 finely chopped small fresh red chillies or ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper if you want it hot.
Damsons or sharp cooking plums give a stronger flavour.

Advertisements

plum chutney

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2+ hours
Makes: about 2 litres

2kg eating plums, de-stoned and cut into quarters
450g cooking apples, cored but not peeled, and chopped finely.
450g onions, chopped finely
300g dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
200g raisins or sultanas
1 litre white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
250g soft brown sugar
3 large cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 teaspoon ground allspice,
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon,
3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger.
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
8 juniper berries, using a mortar and pestle, roughly grind the juniper and peppercorns together
10-12 black peppercorns

1.Grease the base of the pan lightly with oil or butter. Combine all the ingredients in a large heavy bottomed pan. Stir over a low heat without boiling, until the sugar has dissolved.

2.Bring slowly to a gentle boil. Immediately turn down the heat to a very gently simmer [with tiny bubbles just breaking the surface], uncovered, for about 2+ hours until the mixture has broken down and thickened, and no excess liquid remains [see below]. Stir occasionally early in the cooking to check the mixture is not sticking or burning but stir frequently in the last hour of the cooking time as this chutney does stick easily.

3.When ready spoon the chutney into warmed sterilized jars. Save some in a small jar to use to test the taste over time. Use a skewer or the long handle of a spoon to remove any air bubbles. Cover with a lid and seal immediately.

4.Leave to cool. Label and store in a cool dark place and leave to mature for at least 2-3 months before eating. Best used within 12 months of making. Once open, store in the refrigerator.

5.Alternative version. Damsons can be used and, depending how sweet they are, you may need to use additional sugar – that is between 250g used above and 450g if the damsons are quite sharp.

Tips:

• Chutneys, which are made from vegetables, fruit, sugar, spices and vinegar, are cooked until very thick and the cooking is long and slow. Leave for 2-3 months before eating to allow the flavours to develop.

• Make sure your pan is large enough and preferably, is heavy-based. Do not leave vegetables or vinegar standing in aluminium pans for more than an hour.

• Vinegar- use a good quality vinegar with at least 4% acetic acid [can be malt, white or red wine vinegar]. Cheap vinegars do not contain enough acetic acid to act as a preservative.

• Sugar is not simply a sweetener but is also a preservative when used in high concentration as it acts to stop the development and growth of micro-organisms. Brown or white sugar is used in chutneys- brown sugar simply gives a richer flavour and colour.

• Bottle [jars]- check there are no chips or cracks. Wash bottles and lids in a dishwasher or hot soapy water and rinse well. Dry and sterilise the bottles in the oven. Place on a baking tray and leave in an oven [preheated to 120 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark ½ ] for 20 minutes or until ready to use.

• Cooking times can vary depending on the size of pan used, fruit and vegetables used, whether they are in season, their water content, how gentle the simmering etc.

• Stirring- chutneys must be stirred often to prevent sticking and burning on the bottom of the pan. Stir across the base of the pan not just around the edge.

• Test for when ready to bottle – place a spoonful of mixture on a plate. Draw the spoon though and the trail left should be clean without any runny liquid. Keep cooking till you achieve this. Alternatively just draw the spoon across the base of the pan. Remember chutneys thick when they cool.

Ealing Transition Town – Food Event – Sat 21st November

If you’re interested in the importance of local food then Ealing Transition’s Local Food event on Saturday 21st November may be for you. Whether you are interested in selling it, growing it or eating it you’re invited to come along and shape the future of food in Ealing. The event is aimed at everybody: families, policy makers, local businesses and schools.

The event will be held at St Mary’s Church Hall in St Mary’s Road Ealing and will run from 10.30am to 4pm. For more details and online booking visit http://www.ealingtransition.org.uk

West Ealing Neighbours will be there with our stall selling jams and chutneys and we will also be talking at the event about what our plans are for 2010.

Hope to see you there!

Chutney – FOR SALE!

Although we sold most of the produce at the Craft Fair on Saturday 7th November we have some spare so if you are interested in buying some please let me know on here. We are selling the Chutney for £3 (325g jars). They are labelled and if I say so myself they look really good!

At present we have the following:
Plum sauce (great as a marinade as well as on the side with steak)
Plum chutney
Apple, date and walnut chutney
Apricot and ginger chutney