Summer Bounty: Plums


Sometimes you have a lot of one thing, and just need to use it before it needs to be thrown out.  Sometimes, in the midst of the heat of summer, that thing is a plum.  Or, two pounds of a variety of plums.  And sometimes you know you’ll just get more in next week’s farm share.

So what to do with aging plums when you already have a dessert in mind, and donut peaches are fulfilling your fresh stone fruit snack desires? (which, by the way, donut peaches are awesome.  I definitely did not appreciate them until this summer, but they are just amazing.)  Plum chutney, of course.

Chutneys make any meal seem fancy.  Generally we are fans of Trader Joe’s mango chutney, but making it is not all that hard.  It just takes a good simmer burner (yes, back right), some patience, and the perfect blend of sweet and spicy.  To balance the sweetness of the plums, I added a healthy amount of onion and hot peppers (also conveniently needing to be used from my fridge) .

Plum Chutney (roughly adapted from Aunt Phyllis’ Peach or Rhubarb Chutney)

  • 1 1/2 lbs of plums (any kind will do, I used the variety from our farm share), pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 – 1/2 onion *I used a white onion because this is what I had, but most recipes call for red onion, which I think would add a good tang to the chutney
  • 6 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 hot peppers (again, to taste.  I used chipotles, but jalapeños would work as well)
  • 1 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/4 cup (or, two small handfuls) of golden raisins
  • about a cup of sugar *I recommend tasting a piece of plum and adjusting for sweetness- if your plums are super sweet you don’t need too much sugar
  • a splash or two of red wine
  • a clove of garlic, chopped

Now, the easy part.  Put everything in a pot.  Let simmer, uncovered, for about 30-45 minutes, or until thickened and all chutney like.  Stir occasionally and make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom.

We served this with a cumin rubbed pork tenderloin, and the sweet/spicy balance was in full force.

Also- my aunt, mentioned above, includes ginger (both sliced and ground) in her chutney, which could be an interesting addition.  I just didn’t have any, but I think it’ll be a good addition for next time.

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