I get my fill of plums every summer while they are plentiful and linger until late October. Early November, and they are still there: Bring some plums home while they last! The variety of plums I love is the long, dark, sweet, plump and firm-tender, called Damson Plums. There’s nothing I don’t do with plums: Plum Tart, pie, dumplings, sauces both savory and sweet, chutney, compote, clafoutis, soup, you name it. The unprepossessing and modest little plums are the perfect superfood fruit!
Plum Sauce: Here I just want to share something so simple it is not even a recipe: this fragrant, chunky and luscious plum sauce, with all the variations it affords. I cut open about two dozen long plums with a sharp knife, discarding the pits, and put them in a pot with 2-3 cups cranberry or pomegranate juice. Don’t worry if the halves look too large, they will break up during the brief cooking time. Bring it to a boil, and immediately lower the heat to low. Let the mixture cook covered about 5 minutes, stirring a couple times to avoid scorching. The plums need very little adornment as they pack a huge flavor punch. I love to add 1/4 cup Creme de Cassis, which underscore the plum flavor beautifully, and a good pinch or two ground black pepper, and I taste for sweetness. I like mine tart, but not too sour, so I might add 1/3 to 1/2 cup maple syrup. That’s about it!
I let the sauce cool, and store it in glass jars. It yields a good 3-4 quarts. Do not divide the recipe, as it keeps very well a good couple weeks.
Now let’s take plums and my plum sauce places:
- Eat it just as is, or thin it with a little cranberry or pomegranate juice if you like it looser.
- Cream it in blender or food processor (just some of it) until smooth, and use it as a sauce on ice cream, sorbet or pound cake.
- Cream it in a blender with some berries or/and yogurt for the perfect smoothie, or pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze, for ices or frozen yogurt.
- Stir a little yogurt into a serving in a bowl, then eat a is or topped with granola. Hint: You can even do this on the road, at lunch time.
- Thin the mixture with a little red wine in a bowl, and call it plum soup. Eat it plain or topped with a scoop of coconut yogurt or vanilla ice cream.
- Use it as filling for crepes.
- Stir in 1-2 good pinches curry and cayenne, and use it as a sauce for meat or poultry.
- If you would rather not include liqueur, skip the creme de cassis and put in a splash of vanilla extract.