Pickled Plums
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  • 300 g sugar
  • 375 ml wine vinegar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves
  • 1 kg firm, red fleshed plums
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1½ cups wine vinegar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves
  • 2 lb firm, red fleshed plums

Pickled Plums

This is based on a a very good and simple recipe that I found in Margaret Fulton's 1983 Encyclopaedia of Food and Cookery. The finished plums taste wonderful and look very pretty on the plate, but they must be made over two days and stored for at least 6 weeks before you can eat them. So they are not a last-minute treat but an example of good domestic foresight. By the time you do serve them - and accept compliments for them - they will seem magically to have made themselves with no effort on your part.

Getting Ready

  1. Check that the plums are sound and have no bird-pecks or soft spots.
  2. Remove any stalks and push a whole clove into the stalk ends of the plums.
  3. Prick the skin of each plum several times with a fine skewer or a large sewing needle.

Making the Pickle - Day 1

  1. Put the sugar and the vinegar in a large saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Bring to the boil, add the cinnamon stick and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the plums to the syrup and bring the mixture back to the boil. If any scum rises to the surface, skim it off.
  4. Lift out the plums with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl.
  5. Boil the syrup for another 3-4 minutes, pour it over the plums, cover with a cloth and leave in a cool place for 24 hours.

Making the Pickle - Day 2

  1. Wash some wide-necked jars in hot, soapy water, rinse them well and dry in the oven - heated to 300º F / 150º C.
  2. Drain the syrup back into the saucepan and bring it to the boil.
  3. Add the plums, return to the boil then lift out the plums and put them in a bowl.
  4. Boil the syrup for another 2 minutes, pour out over the plums, cover with a cloth and leave them to cool.
  5. Put the plums into the warm jars, and seal the jars.
  6. Store them in a cool, dark place for 6 weeks before using them.