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Thursday, 20 September 2012

easy plum sauce

Plum season is upon us and so, here are two plum sauce recipes. This first recipe is a quick version I make with a jar of homemade plum jam. Bought jam or a preserve with a high fruit content would be perfect as well and cherry jam will do in a pinch. The combination of sweet and sour with a touch of heat makes the perfect companion for spring rolls, wontons, tofu, pork, chicken dishes. To be honest, I think if you dipped a stinky tramp's shoe into this it would make it quite palatable, it's just that good. We most often have it with quick midweek supper of crispy duck and pancakes plus a bowl of fluffy steamed rice - just bring everything to the boil together and serve, it is truly delicious. 

Plum Sauce # 1
1 jar plum jam
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon five spice powder

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine jam, vinegar, brown sugar, dried onion, red pepper, garlic and spice. Bring to a boil, stirring. Remove from heat.

Plum Sauce # 2
1kg plums
1 onion
4 garlic cloves
1cm fresh ginger
1 chilli (optional)
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp five-spice powder
2tsp sea salt
50ml rice wine vinegar
25ml soy sauce

Stone the plums, chop them into quarters and put them in a saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Finely chop the onion, slice the chilli (if using) in two lengthways and blitz with the garlic and ginger to a puree in a food processor. Add the onion, the garlic and ginger puree, star anise, cinnamon, cloves and salt to the saucepan along with a tiny drop of water and other liquids to cover the bottom of the pan.

Bring to the boil slowly and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until the plums are rendered to mush. Remove the cinnamon stick and star anise. Blitz to a puree with a hand blender or in a food processor. The sauce should be a nice ketchup-y consistency by now. If not, boil for a little longer. Cool slightly and pour into pre-sterilised bottles, screw lids on firmly and store in a cool, dark  place.

The colour of the finished sauce will depend on the kind of plum you use, but any variety will do. If you have bought a punnet of plums in the supermarket and they are not nice enough to eat by themselves, they will make a good base for this lovely plum sauce.


  1. And now I have a craving for duck and plum sauce for breakfast. Love the speedy sauce in particular, great for a week night dinner.

    1. I had duck and plum sauce for breakfast yesterday - it was pretty good!

  2. Duck & plum sauce is one of my family's all time favourite dishes. The children go mad for it. So, really I must make this sauce for them. And, I can't tell you how many times I have bought unsatisfactory plums from the supermarket. Why does this never happen to me in France?! A perfect and easy way to use up those sour plums. I have just made a really good roasted plum ice cream with some of these plums and it is so good. Cooking them definitely works!

  3. Last year we made plum brandy. There is far too much of it to drink left so I think this is the perfect alternative. Great recipe A!

  4. These plum sauces look amazing. Really wishing I could have duck rolls for lunch now. You've put the longing on me now!

  5. Superb so easy.Could eat duck and.......any time

  6. Trying the second one tonight with pork. Will let you know how it goes!

  7. Utterly bizarre recipe. Has anybody actually tried it?

    Where did the cloves come from?

    What happened to the rice wine vinegar, five spice and soy sauce?

  8. My kind of recipe -we're heading for a glut of plums this year, so thanks Anne Marie!


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