Tuesday, 30 August 2011

More plums


Here's the second installment of that 3kg of plums...

Plum and Ginger Chutney
(borrowed from Lotte Duncan's lovely 'Lotte's Country Kitchen' Absolute Press, 2010)

Again, a lovely activity to do with children because they enjoy squishing the plums and because you don't need to be too exact with everything else.

  • You will need:
  • 25g butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 450g plums
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soft brown sugar


  • Show your child how to stone the plums, extracting them with (clean) fingers.
  • Grate the ginger together.
  • Chop the onion together - child using a table knife.


  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the onion.
  • Add the plums and ginger and cook gently for 10 mins until the plums are soft. They will go a lovely pink colour. Add water if the plums are not very juicy.
  • Add the balsamic vinegar and sugar.
  • Transfer to a sterilised jar.


Lotte Duncan says you should serve this warm, but we have eaten it as an accompaniment to cheese and cold meat. Delicious.

Sunday, 28 August 2011



All the fruit suddenly seems to be coming out as Autumn is creeping towards us. A walk around the Grandparent's village and we came across some bags of plums left out by someone whose tree had obviously had a bumper year. 3KG later, we almost had too many to know what to do with. We found two recipes: one sweet, one savoury (to follow). Both are brilliant to do with kids - super easy and stoning the plums was great fun (although watch small stones and inquisitive toddlers).

Roasted Plum Sorbet (borrowed from Hugh Fearnley Whittingtsall)


You will need:

  • 1.5kg Plums
  • 1.5 vanilla pods
  • 75g caster sugar (or more if necessary)
  • Sieve
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Roasting tray
  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6.
  • Wash hands and the plums and put them in a large bowl.
  • Show your child how to remove the stone by opening up the plum. The plums we were using were very ripe, so just required a squish but you may need to help the process along by making a slit in the fruit with a knife. The children should enjoy getting stuck into the sweet, sticky plums.


  • Open up the vanilla pods by cutting them length-ways, then cut into several large pieces.
  • Put the plums, vanilla, sugar and 180ml water into a roasting tin and put into the oven for about 1/2 hour.
  • When you open the oven, you will see that the plums have changed colour and now have a beautiful yellow flesh.
  • Leave to cool.


  • Show your child how to push the plum mixture through a wire sieve to make a sort of coulis. We also put some of the less lumpy mush that was left in the sieve into the final mixture which seemed to thicken it up a bit.
  • Put the mixture into a shallow plastic container and into the freezer. You will need to come back to it once every hour for about 3 hours to stir it. This is a great way of teaching children about the process of freezing.


The final product is delicious and completely addictive. HFW suggests serving it with a chocolate brownie which would make it even better - although ours didn't really even make it into a bowl...

Or you could:
  • You could make this sorbet out of anything really - experiment with different flavours.
  • Make 'granita' where you freeze the pureed fruit into a sort of ice. To serve, scrape it with a fork and put into glasses. Great with strawberries.