Notes from Windward: #67


Feral Plum Chutney

Lindsay adds plums to the pantry

     On our last run into town, we discovered a small, abandoned plum orchard. With the trees heavily burdened with fruit, and with fallen plums already scattered beneath the branches, we decided to honor the efforts that someone many years ago invested in this land by making good use of this forgotten fruit.


     So, while Walt picked up supplies in town, I picked fruit. And when he returned, I was still picking fruit, as it was simply so abundant. We decided that four full buckets were enough to keep us busy for the time being, and more than enough to allow us to experiment with any recipe for plums you could ever imagine.


     As usual, the first step was to put some fruit in the dehydrators, so that the dried plums could be reconstituted for baked goods or cooking throughout the winter. Thankfully, Walt was able to fix the largest of the dehydrators so that we could process more at a time.

     I found a delicious recipe for plum chutney in Preserving the Harvest, which I modified slightly according to the ingredients available. And of course I multiplied it several times. Im sure it will be the first of many plum recipes to come.

Plum Chutney

  • 2.5 cups of washed, pitted and sliced plums
  • cup diced onion (called for red onion)
  • cup sugar
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbs distilled white vinegar
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice (called for OJ)
  • tsp ground allspice
  • tsp salt
     Called for 3 Tbs of golden raisins, but it's simply delicious without raisins too.

     Combine all ingredients together in a saucepan, bring to a boil and then let simmer (covered) for 20-30 minutes. Remove lid, and let cook for another 8-10 minutes until moisture disappears. Either place in fridge and enjoy immediately or follow canning procedures to store for later.

  Sept 21:

     Ginas mother shared this recipe with us. It is sweeter than the chutney; and the nuts, which actually make it a conserve as opposed to a preserve, give it a "rounder" flavor.

Plum Conserve

  • 8 cups pitted plums
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 lemon (or 3 Tbs lemon juice and 2 tsp lemon zest)
  • 1 cup nuts (we used walnuts)
  • 1 cup of raisins (optional, we didn't)
     Wash, drain and pit plums. Mix plums, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt. Boil until soft. Add sugar and cinnamon. Boil until thick and moisture removed. Add nuts about 5 minutes before removing from heat. Follow canning procedures or store in fridge.

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 67