A sweet, sour, and spicy condiment made from American wild plums. You can use it anywhere you'd like a sweet and sour sauce, or glaze. It's particularly good with chicken and pork. Makes about 4 cups.
Keyword: Fruit Ketchup, Wild Plums
4-6lbswild plumsdepending on size (*see note). 3 cups of fruit puree the consistency of apple sauce can be substituted.
2cupswaterat room temperature
1cupapple cider vinegar
1small onionabout 4oz, roughly chopped
2tablespoonsflavorless cooking oil
¼teaspooncayenne or hot chili sauceto taste
1/4teaspoonabout 5 whole ground cloves
1/2teaspoonabout ½ a whole nutmeg ground or grated nutmeg
Extracting the plum coulis
Wash the plums, then preheat the oven to 350. Roast the plums for 10-15 minutes, or until they’re tender, starting to split, and give when touched. Remove the plums from the oven, transfer to a bowl, and cool until you can handle them. You can also steam or freeze the plums to soften them.
Pour the water over the plums, and, using gloves (optional) mash the plums very well, until a loose puree forms and they’ve given up their pulp.
Pour the plum puree, skins and stones into a colander over a bowl, and gently press around on the mass to pass through as much of the puree as you can.
Resist the urge to add more water to extract extra puree from the skins and seeds, as it will give you a thin sauce.
You can definitely get a “second wash” from the skins and stones, adding a little more water and mashing to extract more puree, which will be looser, and good added to mixed fruit jams, etc. The finished mash of skins and stones will also make great vinegar.
After passing the plum puree through the colander, You should end up with about 3 cups of very thick puree, about the consistency of apple sauce.
Finishing the sauce
Next, sweat the onion, garlic and ginger in the oil for 5 minutes or until translucent, then add the sugar and vinegar and reduce by half.
Add the plum puree, salt, and spices, heat through, and, if needed, continue reducing until you have about 4 cups of coarse puree.
Transfer the mixture to a blender, working in batches if needed, and puree until very smooth.
Transfer to mason jars and process in a water bath, following the same guidelines for jam. You can also freeze, or just store in the refrigerator, where it will last for months. Canned plum ketchup will last for a long time, at least until next season.
Wild plums vary in sizePrunus americana can vary wildly in their size, which explains the range of weight needed to get 1 qt of finished ketchup here. I’ve found wild plum trees with very large fruit can yield nearly 50% more puree than smaller wild plums, so, depending on the size of your plums, you may need to adjust a bit here and there. If your plums are small, use 6 lbs of them for the recipe. If you're plums are larger with more flesh, use 4 lbs. Substituting other stone fruits You can substitute just about any other stone fruit near you to make this. peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines can all be used. If you'd like to use a different stone fruit, you can substitute 6 chopped cups of stone fruit of your choice for the weight of wild plums in the recipe, skipping the roasting portion of the recipe as it's only needed for wild plums with tannic skins. Scaling the recipe This will make 1 quart, but is scaled (and tested) from a restaurant batch that made a gallon or so. It scales well and is forgiving, so you can make as much or little as you like.