The lazy part of me, and that is a big part sadly, initially wonders, “why would you bother making chilli plum sauce at home when you can buy it?” One very good reason, making sauce is dead easy, especially my chilli plum sauce. And there is nothing like a bit of self love from a bottle of sauce.
Self love? Yes, the second very good reason, I’m sharing my narcissism here, is how home made sauces, jams, relishes etc, make me feel. I feel clever, smart and more of a domestic goddess than bloody Nigella Lawson. Nothing like condiment making for self love and placing oneself on a pedestal.
And why not make something that effortlessly makes you feel like king shit in the kitchen. You see, sauce (or any other condiment for that matter) just keeps on giving you that “oh yeah (head nod), I’m shit hot” feeling.
You make it. Tell you family how brilliant and clever you are. They have some with something. Then it goes in the fridge (and others that you have canned in the cupboard), and it is bought out again a few days, a week, a month later, and you have that same “who’s a clever girl” feeling. Feel free to bum wiggle each and every time.
A completely different feeling to making a cake or other dish that is devoured within 48 hours. It’s gone. No sauce bottle to remind you how clever and brilliant you are when you open the fridge door a thousand times a day. No whipping out the bottle when friends come over for a BBQ. Where you present your sauce with a ‘look what I make earlier”. Standing there with the broadest smile as you wait for them to tell you how amazing you are.
Okay, all off the above is probably just me. But when there’s an abundance of beautiful seasonal produce around, my dear friends, make sauce!
For my chilli plum sauce recipe, I sourced some small and beautifully ripe sugarplums from the local farmers’ market. You can use any plums you want. Of course they’ll all give your sauce a slightly different taste, mainly the sweetness. I have plans to make this one again using blood plums. That will probably be next season, as we have enough sauce to keep us going at present.
The sauce is a sweet and sour balance with a mellow chilli kick. Not overpowering and perfect for those of us that like the flavour of chilli, but can live without mouth numbing heat. I have added star anise and ginger to give it an Asian slant, but again these flavours meld into the background for balance.
- 1 kg sugar plums - chopped & stones kept
- 250 grams sugar
- 500 ml white vinegar
- 5 small red chillies
- 8 grams salt
- 2 star anise
- 2 grams ground ginger
- Place all ingredients in a large heavy based saucepan. Stir over a medium heat, without boiling, until sugar has completely dissolved.
- Increase heat and simmer ingredients for around 45 minutes until plums have broken down and the mixture is pulpy.
- Remove from heat and strain the mixture. Return the strained mixture to the stove and cook a further 10 minutes until thickened.
- Place sauce in sterilised jars. Store in fridge. Makes around 3 cups.
I didn’t ‘can’ my sauce. It went into a bottle and into the fridge. I will get a few months out of it. If you want to you could ‘can’ smaller quantities in jars, so that consumption could be spread throughout the year.
You may be wondering why the plum stones are used in this recipe. The pectin in the stones naturally thicken your sauce during the cooking process.
A simple recipe for those of us narcissists that need that self love every now and again. Even if that self praise comes in the form of a bottle of sauce.
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