Thursday, November 10, 2011

Plum Sauce

We eat a lot of plum sauce, or any variation thereof, whenever we make eggrolls.

But it gets expensive to buy those cute little bottles - even if the bottles are really cute and I can use them again for other stuff. 

So I decided to make my own.  [My own plum sauce.  Not my own bottles.]  It's easier than I thought to make it myself.

Really.

First I bought some plums at Sam's and then they got lost in the fridge.

I hate that.

When I found them, some of them had soft spots.   The kind of soft spots that aren't really fun to eat fresh, but that are just perfect in jam and plum sauce.

I peeled and chopped and cooked up the plums and made Pear-Plum Vanilla Jam with half of them and used the rest for plum sauce.   [More on that Pear-Plum Vanilla Jam later...]

I had about 3 cups of cooked plums left over for the plum sauce. 

Here's how it went...

Plum Sauce
  • 3 cups cooked plums [That's about 3 large plums or 4-5 small ones]
  • 1  1/2 Tablespoons Ball Low-Sugar Pectin powder
In saucepan, combine the plum goo and pectin and heat until it boils hard.   Be patient.  It's worth it.  Boil hard for 1 minute.  
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger or pickled ginger
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
In another pot, combine the above ingredients and cook just until tender.   You're trying to mellow them, not caramelize them.

When the plums have boiled hard for a minute, put them in the large pot with the onions and stuff.  Return to boil.   Then add: 
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup blackberry syrup [or other red juice for color because my plums were beige]
  • 1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes
Heat this until it boils hard.   Be patient.  Let it get good and hot all the way through.   Keep stirring and stirring and when it's boiling so hard that you can't stir it down and it's singing to you, then add:
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
Combine well.   Let it all get good and hot again.    Ladle into jars.   Process for canning.   Makes 5 cups of truly excellent plum sauce.


Troubleshooting:
Cooking the plums:   Peel and chop them up into chunks.   Don't stress out about the size of the chunks.   They fall apart when they cook.   Put them into a small saucepan and put about 1/2 cup of water in there.   You don't want too much water, but you don't want them to stick either and you won't have time to stir them constantly because now you're going to go mince the onion and garlic and stuff.   Add more water if you need to.   It'll be fine. 

Plums:  Let's say that you can't find any fresh plums worth eating at the store right now.   Don't worry.  You can use a large can of plums from the store.  Get one without sugar if possible.

Plums in syrup:  Let's say that you can't find a can of plums without sugar.   Don't worry.   This is what you do:
  • Instead of dissolving your pectin in with the plums, dissolve the pectin into 1 1/2 cups of plain old water.   Or plain new water.   Water.   Whatever. 
  • Boil the water and pectin hard.
  • When it has boiled hard for a minute, put the can of plums in there too and return it all to a boil.  Then put it in the bigger pan with the onions and stuff and boil it again.  [You don't have to boil it hard this time.]
  • Add the rest of the sugar MINUS a cup.   [You already have sugar in the can of plums, so you can cut some of the extra sugar we add to the sauce out.  Make sense?]  
  • Follow the rest of the recipe as it is above.    
Your sauce should be just fabulous.   Have an extra eggroll for me!

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