P is for Plums…and lots of them

plum jam || cityhippyfarmgirl

plum crumble

When a surprise box of plums comes home, there is a tiny pause then a lovely mixture of excitement and ooooh, what am I going to do with them all!

Despite my fervent wishing I still don’t have a walk in pantry, with darkened rustic wooden shelves of assorted heights to store all my preserved goodies on. On the other side of the pantry, I also don’t have a long fermenting bench where I can store all of my current fermenting goodness. What I did have was a box of plums that needed sorting asap, a crowded bench top for fermenting and a small portion of a dresser cupboard to store things in.

I also had enthusiasm, and that should never be underestimated.

So what was to be made with that of box plums?

plum mead || cityhippyfarmgirl

Plum Crumble

Plum Jam

Chilli Plum Sauce

and the most exciting of them all

Plum Honey Mead

Plum Honey Mead was such a great experiment. The picture here is of the mixture at 24 hours old. Already it’s started to bubble a little, which only increased- and almost volcanically. I was happily telling anyone that paused for longer than thirty seconds beside me, (which can be awkward at pedestrian crossings and other generally non chatty public places.) More to come on this intriguing stuff, so in the mean time how about a Chilli Plum Sauce Recipe? Dead easy and surprisingly versatile in what you can smother things with.

chilli plum sauce || cityhippyfarmgirl

Chilli Plum Sauce

8 plums washed, stoned and quartered

100g fresh chilli

1 medium brown onion

4 cloves of garlic

2 cups (420g) brown sugar

1 1/2 cups (375mls) white vinegar

2 tsp salt

Process plums, chilli, onion, garlic together in a blender and then into a pot. Add the sugar, salt and vinegar and bring to a gentle simmer. Keep it at this level until the sauce thickens. Pop into a clean glass jar and keep in the fridge, (or alternatively process and store as you would jam.)

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And to the winner of the little giveaway- Congratulations Zena from Twigs and Twine, I will be in touch shortly to get your address.

As for everyone else that took the time to comment on this post. I have to say, I feel so honoured to be a part of this online community. I know time is precious and there are thousands of incredibly interesting things to be looking at on the internet these days- so taking the time to comment here means a lot.

I also found it so interesting in hearing about what community meant to different people. I think in asking the question, it’s just confirmed things even more for me. Connectedness and a sense of belonging within a community (of any sort) is so incredibly important and so many of us within this small online space here- value that.

As I send virtual loaves of sourdough and little plates of biscuits to you all- again thank you. You all rock. 

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an unattractive tasty plum cake

I knew in my mind the sort of cake I wanted to make. Not too sweet, using half plums, and perhaps a little almond meal in there. Could  I find a recipe within my collection that was even remotely like it, no. Not a whisker. I didn’t want to trawl the internet, so it was back to hack baking. I’m certainly no stranger there.

Springform pan greased and lined with parchment paper on the bottom. Cutting 5 plums in half, lining them up round side down and then sprinkled with a tablespoon of sugar.

In a mixing bowl add,

150gms softened butter

1 cup raw sugar (approx 140gms)

cream together, add

2 beaten eggs

1 tps cinnamon

1 cup natural yogurt (approx 250mls)

1 cup almond meal (approx 100gms)

1 cup s/r flour (approx 150gms)

Spoon mixture on top of plum halves and bake at 180C for approximately 1hour 15mins.

Now let’s address the elephant in the room. It doesn’t look pretty. It really doesn’t. I couldn’t photograph its prettier angle, as there was no prettier angle. The food stylist was clearly out for a long lunch. It is what it is, an unattractive tasty plum cake.

That’s ok though, these things happen in every day cooking.

* Edit. I forgot one litttttle thing. I flipped the cake. So the bottom is now on the top. If you would like to see how an unflipped cake looks, read on down in the comments and you will see Keri’s superb looking cake she made.

summer loving jam


I don’t know if this was the best name for the jam. It’s been such an odd summer. Bakingly hot this week, a huge cyclone hitting the country and catastrophic flooding in recent weeks. The middle of the night being woken by the smell of a fire, it’s certainly been an odd summer. Fruit and vegetable prices are set to increase due to the natural disasters effecting so many farmers, so I actually feel kind of lucky to be able to even make this jam. To be in a position to cook up and store some of summers beautiful stone fruit offerings. Eaten mindfully and enjoying every spoonful that’s for sure.

Jam really is so easy to make. It’s been said countless times before, but it really is such a great way to preserve the season.

Equal parts sugar to fruit, (generally) if needed some pectin of some sort. Cook it up until it thickens and hey presto, done.

Summer Loving Jam

plums- two kinds

peaches

nectarines

juice of one lemon

 

ratio

1 kilo fruit

1 kilo sugar

500mls water

I just roughly chopped the fruit and then gently with a hand held mixer, blitzed any big lumps. If you don’t have that, cut it finer, (or enjoy your lumps.)

Cooking at a rolling ball, until cold saucer test stage. In to sterilised jars and store.

Vanilla Plum Trifle

How did this Battenburg Cake over at Zeb Bakes become this Vanilla Plum Trifle?

Well as is happens, I had really strong intentions of giving the Batternburg a crack. I saw it, I had never heard of it, it, it looked tricky and I wanted to play. I thought the combination of vanilla and plum for the cakes would be nice. I also thought the vivid colour of my frozen summer plums would transcend in to the cake just a little more than it did. I also thought I had caster sugar.

Result?… A cake that had raw sugar sticking out in it, and a rather murky plum cake colour that did not contrast at all with the vanilla side. What to do?

Ditch it and eat the cake?… Or, as my mind went tickity tock. I thought Plum puree red and delicious…. vanilla mixed with a little mascarpone and dunk it all in cake…. Done. The deal was sealed and Mr Battenburg will have to wait until another day. This was given a 10/10 from Mr Chocolate, and he NEVVVERRR gives 10/10. It didn’t even have chocolate in it.

Vanilla Plum Trifle

chopped up pieces of plain vanilla cake

1 1/2 cup plum puree

250gms mascarpone

1 tps vanilla

1/2 cup icing sugar

strawberries

In bowl place chopped up pieces of cake, and then drizzle some of the plum puree over  the cake. Whisk together the mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla. In between the cake and plum puree, dab spoonfuls of the mascarpone mixture. Keep laying the three componants until all used up and then place strawberries on top to fill in any gaps. Let sit in the fridge for a few hours to infuse the flavours.

Vanilla Cake

200gms softened butter

200 gms sugar

Cream these two together. Add

3 beaten eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

When mixed well, add

200 gms s/r flour

cook in lined baking tray at 180 C until golden.

Then cut into small squares.