Introduction: Plum Good Syrup

What do you do with the last of a pile of delicious, plummy plums? Turn them into syrup!

Step 1: Sort the Plums and Gather Ingredients

You will need:
plums (of course!)
a saucepan
maple syrup
balsamic vinegar

Wash and quarter the plums, removing their pit and any rotten parts. Toss them in a saucepan.

Step 2: Simmer the Syrup

Toss some sugar, maple syrup and water into the pot. Maple syrup has a strong flavor and is kind of expensive to use on its own, so we also added sugar (about a cup). You can also omit the maple syrup altogether and just use sugar and water. Adjust your sugar:water ratio as desired depending on how thick you like your syrup. We used 1:1 and then just cooked it down to get that thick syrup consistency.

At this point we tasted the syrup and decided it needed a tablespoon or so of balsamic vinegar to kick the acidity up a bit and and a teaspoon or so of vanilla extract. Mmm. Now it's just right.

Step 3: Strain

After five-ten minutes the syrup has cooked long enough for the fruit to soften and for its soul to seep from its body. It will thicken more as it cools, so don't judge its final thickness by its hot liquid state. Pour it (very carefully - hot syrup can really burn) through a strainer and then if you like your syrup chunky, push a bunch of the fruit pulp through with a spatula. Let it cool in the bowl, or if you know your final vessel is heat-proof (canning jars are tempered) then you can immediately pour the finished syrup into its new home. I'd wait a little while to put it in the fridge, though.

Step 4: Serve, Enjoy!

Now you can make any kind of syrup you desire!

Plum Italian Soda - pour some syrup in a glass, fill with carbonated water. This is what we did!

Alternate: Plum Italian Cream Soda - same as above, just add cream, too. Don't stir! This is against international Italian law.

Plum Pancakes - all of a sudden, pancakes are just a vehicle for filling your mouth with the taste of fresh plum.

Plum Syrup Candy - if we weren't in California, and it was snowing, I'm sure my tongue would leap at the flavor of this

Plum you-name-it - what would you do with Plum Syrup?