When my sister and I were small children we’d wander through the wild plum trees on my grandfather’s place. In the summer the tiny plums were green and as hard as rocks. The plums of my childhood never grew larger than marbles, nor did they ever ripen to eat.
It wasn’t until years later that I realized that plums grew larger than marbles and were colors other than green. Plums grow in beautiful colors from rosy red to bright green, and have a firm texture and sweet flavor. Ripe plums make a wonderful sauce to put over ice cream. Spiced up a little, plums make a great sauce for baked ham or pork tenderloin. I think that you’ll find both sauce recipes very versatile. The first recipe is a good one for summer and the second one is good to have for the holidays.
I found this recipe for the ice cream sauce in my mother’s recipe file, so hope you enjoy.
Sweet Plum Sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 1/2 cups sliced plums
2 tablespoons water
Vanilla ice cream
In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and cornstarch. Stir in the sliced plums and water. Bring to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer sauce, covered for 6 to 8 minutes or desired thickness. Cool slightly before serving over vanilla ice cream. *Watch the heat on this recipe. It can burn easily with the sugar in it.
2 1/2 pounds plums, washed
1 1/2 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups sugar
Cook plums in water until tender. Run through a colander or food mill to remove skins and seeds. Tie spices in a thin cloth bag. Add vinegar, sugar and spices to plum pulp. Cook rapidly until thick and clear. Pack in hot pint canning jars. Adjust jar lids and bands. Process in boiling water bath canner (212ºF.) for 10 minutes after water starts to boil.
By Ron Harrison, Ph.D., Entomologist and Orkin Technical Services Director
Photographs courtesy of Orkin
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