What to do if you buy beautiful plums that end up tasting disappointingly bland? Don’t throw them away! Instead, stew them with brown sugar and spices, to enhance their flavor.
The cooking time is relatively short, so unlike in a jam, the plums still keep their shape and texture. The cooked plums are perfect for serving as a quick snack, with or without sour cream or yogurt. They are also great as a topping for sponge cake – a simple way to create a quick dessert.
Straining the liquids and cooking them longer will result a tasty, all-natural plum jelly, that goes great on toasted bread, with sharp cheeses or with nuts.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes for the plums + about 10 minutes for the jelly
2 Lbs (1 Kg) plums, sliced thick
¾-1 cup brown sugar
5 cardamom pods
2 whole cloves
1 star anise
2 cups water
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
1. The Plums: Mix all the ingredients in a wide pot. Bring to the boil on high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 25 minutes, until the plums are soft but still keep their shape and the liquids thicken a bit.
3. Strain and keep the liquids. Remove the spices. Place the plums in an airtight container and add 3-4 tablespoons of the cooking liquids. Serve warm or cold. The plums will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.
4. The Jelly: Pour the rest of the liquids back into the pot. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the liquids thicken. Check by dipping the back of a tablespoon in it – when you pass your finger (careful, it’s hot!) in the middle, the syrup will stay separated. 5. Strain again into a small container and cool to room temperature. Cover and keep in the fridge until the jelly sets. The jelly can keep in the fridge for up to a month.