This is peak food production time and some producers may have more produce than they anticipated. So if your local producer offers you a larger than normal share of courgettes, tomatoes, blackcurrants, etc.. don’t hold back! Preserve what you can for the leaner months ahead. Ferment, freeze, dehydrate, jam or pickle. Whatever method takes your fancy.
Below is a list of what delights to look out for when you go shopping now and throughout the month of August.
I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of a glut of early cropping plums from my mum’s garden last week and launched straight into plum-sauce-making mode.
Plum chilli sauce recipe
1k plums destoned
3 whole red chillis
1 large red onion
2 garlic cloves
Small nub of fresh ginger – approx 5g
250ml vinegar (apple cider or balsamic- I used a mixture)
1 tblsp Tamari sauce (soya sauce will do fine)
1 tblsp sherry
Half teasp cinnamon
Half teasp salt
450g sugar (150g of which was brown sugar)
Finely chop the chillis, onion, garlic and ginger. Add to a pot with the de-stoned plums and cook for about 20 minutes. Add all the other ingredients. Stir well and bring to a rolling boil for another 20 mins approx. I prefer it to be of pouring consistency and not as thick set as jam. You may prefer a thicker, more chutney vibe in which case it may need more boiling. When you feel you have reached your ideal thickness (do the cold saucer test) then pour into sterilised jars and lid them when still warm.
Sweet with a spicy kick, this sauce is great with cheese or as an accompaniment to meat. It also works exceptionally well in stir fries and sweet and sour dishes. The flavour matures with time and tastes even zingier after a few weeks. In fact, a few months ago we finished off the last jar from a batch made 5 years previous. It tasted so flavoursome. The above recipe is an extract from this post on greenjamjar.com