PICK­LED PLUMS

Friday - - Food -

Prep time 20 mins Cook­ing time 15 mins Makes 1 kg

1 kg damask or small plums 1 small cin­na­mon stick 2 cloves 2cm knob of gin­ger, sliced Rind of half a lemon 150ml bal­samic vine­gar 450g brown sugar

Wash the plums and re­move stalks. Use a small piece of muslin to make a bou­quet garni con­tain­ing the spices, gin­ger and lemon rind and place this in a saucepan with the vine­gar and sugar. Heat on a medium set­ting and stir un­til the sugar dis­solves. Prick the skins of the plums to pre­vent them from burst­ing, then add them to the saucepan. Sim­mer un­til ten­der but not dis­in­te­grated (about 15 min­utes). Re­move the bou­quet garni and drain the fruit, but re­serve the liquid. Fill four 250ml sterlised jars with the plums. Re­turn the vine­gar mix­ture to the stove and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and sim­mer un­til re­duced and thick­ened to a syrupy con­sis­tency. Al­low to cool slightly, then pour over the plums and seal the jars tightly. Their flavour will im­prove with time (try af­ter six months). The plums are de­li­cious with a strong cheese such as ma­ture ched­dar.

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