The WB Larder: Smoky Plum Sauce


 Prep Time : 20 Minutes | Cook Time : 1 Hour | Total Time : 90 Minutes | Difficulty : Moderate

Hello my lovelies! It’s time to move past tomato sauce. Until I post a recipe for one. But for now we are talking plums. I love to cook with plums. They have a depth of red fruit flavour that is versatile and rich. Sweet juicy plums made into a tangy, smoky sauce that goes on everything. It adds a burst of bright fruity tang and smoky heat. Perfect for burgers. This sauce will take a bit longer to make than the jams we have been talking about the last couple of weeks. But it’s gentle supervision of a bubbling pot. No heavy lifting. We are even going to use the food processor to do the chopping for us. This recipe is adapted from one of my favourite books, The Modern Preserver, written by a Kiwi living in London. It started life as a distinctly asian sauce. By changing up the seasonings it becomes altogether different.

Wash and chop the plums into quarters. Do the same with the onions. Peel the garlic cloves and chop into chinks. Put the plums, onions and garlic into the food processor.

Blitz them until they are as finely chopped as you can get them.

Using a silicone spatula scrape every last bit of fruit and juice into a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and spices.

Bring to a simmer over a medium heat, stirring regularly. Once it’s simmering you will need to leave it to cook for about an hour. Remember to stir it often to make sure it’s not sticking. You will need to stir more often as it gets thicker.

As always we need to sterilise our bottles. Now that the sauce is bubbling away we have a good bit of time to get set up. Wash the bottles in hot soapy water. Rinse with hot water. Heat the oven to 120C (250F). Pop the bottles inside and leave them there to dry and sterilise until you’re ready to fill them. They need to be in there for about 20 minutes so they have time to heat up and stay above 100C for at least 10 minutes.

Pop the lids in small saucepan of water and boil them for 10 minutes. Drain the lids carefully and set on a folded tea towel for later.

Back to the sauce. We need to reduce the liquid by about a third. If you have a pot that has volume measurements on the inside it will make life easy. If not I strongly recommend getting a metal ruler to add to your kitchen kit. You can use it when you preserve to measure the level of the liquid. And you can use it to mark out cookies, crackers and candies, and all sorts of other baking tasks. Make sure you check that it’s made of stainless steel. Be careful as the sauce reduces as it will start to spit. It’s a good sign that it’s nearly ready.

When the sauce has reduced get out your stick blender. While we blitzed the ingredients earlier it can be hard to get a super smooth texture when the ingredients are raw. Take the pot off the heat and give it a good zapping.

When it’s beautifully smooth put it back on the heat. Simmer for a few minutes to check that it has a nice velvety texture and water isn’t separating.

Turn off the heat. Carefully get the hot jars from the oven and set on the folded towel along with the lids. Use a ladle and funnel to fill your jars or bottles. Because mine are both metal I usually pop them in the oven for 10 minutes along with the jars. Leave about half an inch of space at the top. The sauce will thicken as it cools so it may seem a little runny right now.

Use a clean paper towel to wipe any drips from the rims of the bottles. Put the lids on and leave to cool to room temperature.

When the bottles are cold wipe any dripped sauce from the outside and label with the contents and date. This sauce can be used straight away but the flavour will improve over the next few weeks. You can’t argue with that.

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Smoky Plum Sauce


Prep Time : 20 mins | Cook Time : 1 hour | Total Time : 90 minutes | Difficulty : Moderate | Makes : approx. 4 cups

Tangy, smoky plum sauce – banish store-bought tomato sauce forever!

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg ripe red plums, pitted
  • 250 grams onions (red or white)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250 grams) sugar
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (250 mls) cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (50 ml) dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Food processor
  • Stick blender
  • Large saucepan
  • 4 to 5 x 1 cup sauce bottles
  • Ladle and funnel

Directions:

Wash and chop the plums into quarters. Do the same with the onions. Peel the garlic cloves. Put the plums, onions and garlic into the food processor.

Blitz them until they are as finely chopped as you can get them. Using a silicone spatula scrape every last bit of fruit and juice into a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredients.

Bring to a simmer over a medium heat, stirring regularly. Once it’s simmering you will need to leave it to cook for about an hour. Remember to stir it often to make sure it’s not sticking.

As always we need to sterilise our bottles. Now that the sauce is bubbling away we have a good bit of time to get set up. Wash the bottles in hot soapy water. Rinse with hot water. Heat the oven to 120C (250F). Pop the bottles inside and leave them there to dry and sterilise until you’re ready to fill them. They need to be in there for about 20 minutes so they have time to heat up and stay above 100C for at least 10 minutes.

Pop the lids in small saucepan of water and boil them for 10 minutes. Drain the lids carefully and set on a folded tea towel for later.

Back to the sauce. We need to reduce the liquid by about a third. If you have a pot that has volume measurements on the inside it will make life easy. If not I strongly recommend getting a metal ruler to add to your kitchen kit. You can use it when you preserve to measure the level of the liquid. And you can use it to mark out cookies, crackers and candies, and all sorts of other baking tasks. Make sure you check that it’s made of stainless steel.

When the sauce has reduced get out your stick blender. While we blitzed the ingredients earlier it can be hard to get a super smooth texture when the ingredients are raw. Take the pot off the heat and give it a good zapping.

When it’s beautifully smooth put it back on the heat. Simmer for a few minutes to check that it has a nice velvety texture and water isn’t separating.

Turn off the heat. Carefully get the hot jars from the oven and set on the folded towel along with the lids. Use a ladle and funnel to fill your jars or bottles. Leave about half an inch of space at the top.

Use a clean paper towel to wipe any drips from the rims of the bottles. Put the lids on and leave to cool to room temperature.

When the bottles are cold wipe any dripped sauce from the outside and label with the contents and date.

This sauce can be used straight away but the flavour will improve over the next few weeks.

Cook’s Notes:

  • If you want to dial up the heat add extra cayenne pepper – add a little at a time and taste as you go
  • You can use any kind of red plum for this recipe. The different varieties will give slightly different flavours. My favourite NZ variety is Omega, or any other dense cooking plum.

 – Once sealed this sauce will keep unopened in the pantry for 6 to 12 months. Refrigerate after opening – 

Adapted from The Modern Preserver by Kylee Newton.

© 2017 The Winsome Baker. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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