There was the phone call; ‘a branch of our plum tree has come down can you use green plums?’ Then a bit of research on t’internet which led to some interesting sites covering India, Persia and Japan in their influences:
First and most amusing was http://www.ifood.tv/recipe/pickles_from_green_plums two recipes using green plums to make mango/lime chutney like pickles.
The first hot and sour the second sweet and sour. I have tried to interpret the recipes. I may have some problems; the hot and sour one keeps developing a surface mould. The sweet one; once the sugar was added, became very liquid and appears to be ‘working’, creating slight fizzing activity. I suspect both would have been enhanced by Indian sunshine rather than English humidity. I’ll let you know if a) I am poisoned b) they explode c) I recommend repeating the process.
Second was http://persiankitchen.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/khoresht-gojeh-sabz-unripe-plums-stew/ – wow the result was SOUR. I can see how it might work,
certainly add sugar or honey but overall perhaps our English plums were just too unripe or bitter.
Third, http://www.deliciouscoma.com/archives/2009/05/diy_umeshu_plum_wine.html well; I’ll have
to wait and see the liquid is currently off brown,
but clear and I did put in plenty of sugar, so give it a few more weeks and it might be worth a try.
Post script added 20th September 2009 – Just tasted the Umeshu and decanted it into a bottle. It is now clear, the colour of weak tea and tastes fantastic!