Friday, October 4, 2013

Food From Gifted Produce!! Recipe for Chinese Plum Sauce

I spent yesterday morning stitching, but then came to a standstill where I needed to speak to my client, and she was unreachable at work.  Hmm.  I could have put my feet up and turned on the soaps.  But oh nooo... I have to stay busy.  Pfftt. 
First on the list:  Two loaves of pumpkin bread, from the gifted pumpkin a few weeks ago.
Then a pan of Apple Betty.  My neighbour brought over a 3L basked of apples from his yard on Wednesday.  Warning - when your neighbour gives you apples from his never-sprayed-in-this-millenium trees, you will find worms.
Then 8 jars of Chinese Plum Sauce from plums a gal brought to the guild meeting on Monday.  I gratefully took 2 pounds of prune plums that she got from her son's tree. Her deal is:  if she gives you produce you have to give her some of whatever you've canned.  OK - fine by me!!

A little warning here:  this is not the boring orange sugar-sauce that you buy in the store or get in the little plastic packages with your Chinese food.  This is SPICY and very, um, piquant.
Chinese Plum Sauce
Yield:  6 half-pints
From The Complete Book of Canning, Ortho Books

3 red bell peppers
2 lbs. ripe peaches OR apricots, sliced
2 pounds plums, sliced
4 c. cider vinegar
2 c. water
1 c. granulated sugar
1 ¾ c. packed light brown sugar
1/3 c. light corn syrup
5 large cloves garlic, minced
6 tbsp. peeled, chopped ginger root
1 ½ tbsp. coarse (kosher) salt
3 tbsp. white mustard seed, lightly toasted
1 small onion, chopped
2 dried hot red peppers, seeded and crushed
1 stick cinnamon

  1. Place bell peppers under broiler and roast until skin is blistered and lightly charred on all sides.  Remove from heat and wrap in a damp towel for 15 minutes.  Scrape off skin.  Remove seeds and stems.  Set aside.
  2. Simmer sliced peaches and plums, 2 cups of the vinegar, and the water in a large pot until the fruit is tender (about 20 to 30 minutes).  Remove from heat.
  3. Combine the remaining 2 cups vinegar, the sugars, and corn syrup in another large pot.  Stir and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the fruit mixture, bell peppers, and remaining ingredients.  Cover and simmer 8 minutes.  Remove lid and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove cinnamon stick and puree mixture through medium disc of food mill to remove skins and fibers.  Return sauce to pot and bring to a boil.  Continue to boil gently until sauce thickens (10 – 15 minutes) stirring frequently.
  6. Ladle hot sauce into clean, hot, half-pint jars, leaving ½” headspace.  Attach lids & snap rings.
  7. Process in boiling-water bath 10 minutes.
Note:  allow to stand in jars for 1 month before using.

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