This week has been so busy - I have been tackling the glut of plums arriving at my doorstep from generous neighbours - I hate to see them going to waste so it has been a full-on process to get them all preserved.
We have plum jam, winter warm plum chutney, plum and cinnamon cordial, plum and ginger cordial, plum leather and one of my most popular products for Christmas - plums in brandy.
I prep the plums by cutting in half, discarding the stone and any plums that were not sound. I pack them into the Le Parfait jars as tightly as possible together with a star anise and cinnamon stick. Pour over a sugar syrup leaving room to add aound 50-80 mls of brandy whilst leaving around half an inch/3 cms of headspace. Clip down or seal the jars and process in a waterbath or, in my case, the www.lovejars.co.uk electric steriliser, for about one hour. The plums get poached without cooking so much they end up as a mush.
They are delicious with good quality vanilla ice-cream for any easy Christmas dessert. ( One of my customers puts them on her husband's breakfast porridge for an easy life! )
We have a new size for the two-part seal Le Parfait jars - a very cute 500ml. It is strong and robust and the perfect size for family-size pies and crumbles. I am definitely going to be cooking some of the windfall apples from my ancient apple tree in the garden. I love stewed apple just on its own or with some custard - delicious. I don't add any sugar at the preserving stage in case I want to use it as a savoury apple sauce. I just stir in some caster sugar if needed - taste it first.
The new Le Parfait have a VIP price if you are a logged-in customer, so get a box now and they will be a purchase that lasts a lifetime.
These jars weren't in when I made the Plums in Brandy - I will use them for something very soon though - that's a promise.