Category Archives: Green Plums

She’s got the drupes – or what to do with a glut of plums, damsons, sloes et al

It’s OK, I haven’t got “flop bot” like Tricki Woo.* What we have had is a fantastic season for the fleshy stone fruit, known as drupes; including the whole of the plum collection. The first to really cause me fun and games were the green plums which I wrote about previously. Next have been the damsons from Saxtead Mill House pub. When Ruth first showed me the tree I promised to come back; but I don’t think she believed me. The next thing I knew was a bucket full of plums arrived. These I felt would be too small and fiddly to stone so I just rinsed them and brought them up to the boil to make jelly. I had hoped the stones would separate from the pulp enough so that I could remove the stones and call it jam, but this was not the case.  Jelly it was. Having strung my jelly bag up from the cup hooks overnight I could not stand to leave so much pulp going to waste. Having made the jelly I decided to spend the evening forcing the pulp through a sieve to make damson cheese.

If you have not made a fruit cheese before here is a quick how to:

Use the pulp from making a fruit jelly, transfer the pulp to a sieve and force through using the back of a spoon to create a fine, smooth paste. Weigh the pulp and add an equal weight of sugar. Cook in a heavy bottomed pan, stirring frequently until you get the “Red Sea” effect, ie when you drag a wooden spoon through it there is a distinct parting which takes a second or two to fill. Put the mix into sterile warmed pots or moulds, I use little ramekins. Ideally store for a couple of months and then turn out and slice. This is great with dairy cheese or on its own with Suffolk rusks or scones.

* Foot note: so much nicer than hyperlinks don’t you think….

Do you remember the James Herriot vet books? Mrs Pumphrey had a spoilt little dog called Tricki Woo; it, James and Tristan suffered from Tricki’s flop bot

What to do with Green Plums?

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 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 – 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, 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!

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