Have you ever wondered what to do with those plums that get a little squishy and lackadaisical? Here is a great recipe/technique on how to maximize your utility from slightly-over-the-hill plums!
Because they are so acidic, plums make a great marinade for tougher meats, thus the plum barbecue sauce. The syrup is great on pancakes, in coctails, or mixed with seltzer for a healthy soda.
Step 1: Locate Plums
This may seem obvious, but you need plums to make plum barbecue sauce. If you know of plum tree in your neighborhood, please skip this step. Otherwise, locate plum tress in your neighborhood by going to Public Trees Map at Neighborhood Fruit website. Put your zipcode and distance (ex. 94110 and 1) and search. Take note of the tree address and get ready for your adventure!
Step 2: Pick Plums
Grab your fruit picker, and go harvest some plums. BTW, plums are in season June-Aug in North America. It's best to put plums after picking into a hard sided container, like a bucket or a basket for transport home.
Step 3: Wash and Sort Your Plums
When you get the plums home, wash and separate them into the ones that are hard and good for eating straight, and those that are slightly bruised and over ripe. We usually wash our fruit three times just to be sure it's clean. Fruit that is hard and good for eating may be stored in fridge to arrest the ripening.
Step 4: Pit and Toss Into a Pot
Take the plums and squish them over a pot, removing and disposing of the seeds. Add 1/4-1/2 cup of sugar for each pound of plums. Put the pot onto a burner, once simmering, turn down to low heat. NOTE: You only want to fill the pot up half way, because it will want to boil over. Reduce the volume by 1/3-1/2, stirring regularly to prevent burning on the bottom.
Step 5: Filter and Make Syrup
Take the plum mixture and pour it through a colander to remove the solids, collect the liquid that runs off: this is the plum syrup. If it's not thick enough, you can cook it down more in the pot. It should stick to a spoon. Put the syrup in the fridge, it'll keep for a month.
Step 6: Make the Barbeque Sauce
Take the plum slurry from the colander, and put it into a blender along with one onion (caramelized), 1-2 tablespoons of sea salt, and one de-seeded habanero pepper. Blend until smooth and put into a jar. The barbeque sauce will keep for a few weeks. Marinate meat and so forth in it for at least 3 hours before cooking to optimize tenderness.
Step 7: (Optional) Register a Tree
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Low & Slow BBQ Contest