Wild Plum Chutney

Plum Chutney

Alright, alright, these aren’t wild plums, but they were picked out in the open as I mentioned in my last post, from plum trees hanging over the walls of other people’s gardens. At the weekend my girlfriend and I saw two such trees, one just around the corner from her house and another on a walk we went on which took us past Chequers – a residence of the Prime Minister. From two small branches of each tree we managed to alight more than 4 kilograms of plums, this seems quite a lot to pick from someone else’s tree, but they were already slightly over-ripe and there was no sign of them getting picked. The fact that they were slightly over-ripe made them even more alluring, especially for chutney making.

This was my first ever attempt at making a preserve – jam, chutney or otherwise. I think it turned out rather well. Not only does the chutney have a very prominent flavour of plum, it also has undertones of spice and deliciousness – all in all it balanced out very well. As such it works perfectly with cheese and crackers as well as spicy dishes – the sweetness of the plums compliments both styles of eating very well indeed.

As you can probably tell I’m trying to take full advantage of the summer fruits this year. My advice to those of you who want to find tasty and free fruit is to keep your eyes peeled. This can be done in two ways – either you can look up into many trees as you walk by in search of lovely, juicy fruit, or look at the floor for traces of fallen fruit. Blackberries are probably the most common wild fruit, but in certain areas, namely Buckinghamshire, one can find silly amount of blackcurrants. Other fruit such as apples, plums and raspberries can also be found but are slightly harder to find. Of course if you live in a city it’s unlikely that you’ll find too many of these trees, but in green areas it’s still worth keeping one’s eyes peeled even for things like rosemary and thyme.

Plum Chutney {recipe}

Makes 2 jars

Ingredients:

• 500g plums, roughly chopped and pitted

• 1 medium sized onion, very finely chopped

• 100ml white wine vinegar

• A splash of water, no more than 50ml

• 1 tsp cinnamon

• 100g Demerara sugar

• Oil

Method:

1. Fry the onions in oil, preferably olive oil, until soft and translucent. Add the plums, vinegar, water, cinnamon and sugar. Stir and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook for 10-15 minutes until the plums have softened and the preserve has thickened a little.

2. In order to properly seal the preserve in the jars and make sure no bacteria remains pop them in the oven at around 100C for 5 minutes until hot. Divide the chutney between the jars and seal tightly. Do not open until completely cooled. It will taste best if left for a few days – this will allow the flavours to develop.

Cost: I don’t really know how much plums cost per kilo in the supermarkets, but I don’t think 500g would cost much more than £1.20. With free plums each jar of chutney will cost around 35p – not bad considering a jar of good chutney generally costs around £1.80.

 

31 thoughts on “Wild Plum Chutney

  1. mbnilsson

    I’ll have to keep this in mind for when my friend’s tree is ready for the picking. I have been wondering what to do with plums. I suppose it doesn’t matter too much whether they are red or purple as long as they are ripe? I’ll be looking forward to the promised plum muffins post. :)

    1. frugalfeeding

      Oh yeh, it doesn’t matter too much. The more purple the better but the ripeness is the most important consideration. Thanks for visiting my blog, please come back! The muffins will be arriving soon!

  2. maryklein8

    This will be handy! We have two plum trees in Seattle that make more plums than we know what to do with. We’ll can them! We’re already pros at canning pickles and beets. Shouldn’t be too hard. :)

  3. Joanne

    If only I weren’t so afraid of canning…lol. I need to suck it up and do it one of these days! I’ve got tons of plums in my fridge, they are such a beautiful fruit!

  4. mbnilsson

    Should be heading to my friend’s tomorrow to pick some plums. Don’t know how many I’ll end up with, but it would be fun to try a chutney. So do you leave the skins on?

  5. Pingback: Greengage Tart | frugal feeding

If you like my recipes, photos or food please leave a comment here...

%d bloggers like this: