Plums and damsons are in abundance this year. We’ve made umpteen jars of plum and damson jam and have started to make wine. But I fancied doing something different and pulled out my old favourite .. a recipe book that has travelled with me since the 1980s: The Reader’s Digest Farmhouse Cookery (ISBN: 0-276-42086-1).
Even when Andrew and I sold everything in 2008 … I couldn’t give her away. I squirreled her away in a box that stayed in Andrew’s parent’s loft until we returned from our travels.
This much loved recipe book is filled with old county recipes as far back as the medieval period. Every recipe I have used has worked time and time again, and that’s a sign of a good recipe book to me,
In search of something to make with plums, I came across two recipes: Plum Brandy (p. 330) and Plum Rum Conserve (p. 338).
I have adapted the recipes in the book to suit what I have in the cupboard and I have used much less sugar so these recipes are my adaptations. And, I used the plums for the Plum Rum to make Plum Rum Conserve.
4 lbs plums
1 lb sugar
Wash and stalk plums and put into a saucepan with sugar and cook slowly until plums are soft. Turn off heat and leave for 24 hours.
Next day, warm up the plums whilst you sterilise a screwtop bottle in the oven (100 degrees Celisus for 10 minutes).
Pour pulp through a sieve into the bottle. Add dark rum and almond extract to taste (if I remember rightly, I used at least 2 tablespoons of dark rum and half a teaspoon of almond extract). According to the Plum Brandy recipe in the book, it is ready to drink in a week’s time but Andrew and I started drinking it straight away and it was very nice!
Plum Rum Conserve
Before putting the warmed pulp from above (to make Plum Rum) back into a saucepan, remove the stones.
Add a handful of sultanas and half a handful of chopped blanched almonds to the pulp. You can add extra sugar to taste.
Gently simmer the pulp for a few minutes until sultanas are plump. Sterilise a few jam jars in the meantime (100 degrees Celisus for 10 minutes).
Before bottling the jam, add dark rum to flavour (I used at least 2 tablespoons).
I haven’t eaten the Plum Rum Conserve yet .. but I really enjoyed eating it before it went int the jars!
If you make this recipe or make any adaptations to them, please share your experience with us.