(Note: This is a lower-sugar version of my standby plum sauce that I shared last year. I like it better and honestly can’t tell there’s less sugar)
In addition to Addictive Tomato Chutney, this Spicy Plum Sauce is one of my favorite condiments to have on hand throughout the year. We use it on stir fries and moo-shu chicken or pork (using flour tortillas for the pancakes) as well as brushing it on baked chicken and pork.
It is SO good. And so easy. And a lot cheaper than the small little bottles you buy at the store- especially if you can find the plums for free like I did- it sure helps to have a brother-in-law who will share his “secret” spot for harvesting plums with you.
I usually use Italian Plums for this sauce- they are less juicy, so the sauce thickens quicker – but any type of plum will work. Bear in mind that if you use a variety with lighter skin and flesh, the sauce will not be the color of mine.
Oh, and if you are able to get Italian plums, you HAVE to dry some- they make the best dried fruit I’ve ever had. And they are nothing like the squishy, moist prunes we are used to- I thoroughly dry them until they are like individual little fruit leathers, all tart and sweet. I really eat way too many of these at this time of year! (Update: click here for a tutorial on How to Dry Plums – not your mother’s prunes!)
I love easy sauces like this- cut the plums in half and remove the pit and then just throw them in the food processor. Use the processor to finely chop the onions, too, and then throw these and all the other ingredients in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Cook for about an hour on low- stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. It takes just a few minutes to prepare and the rest is just stirring and canning.
After an hour, use an immersion blender to make the sauce smooth, and let it cook until it’s as thick as you want it- usually about another 45 minutes to an hour. But it really wants to stick to the bottom as it thickens, so plan on hanging around the kitchen so you’re available to stir every now and then.
Transfer to clean, warm half-pint jars, attach lids and boil in a canner for 20 minutes (canning really is easy- here’s a step-by-step canning tutorial).
Spicy Canned Plum Sauce
Adapted from the”Ball Blue Book of Preserving” (still safe! I simply decreased the sugar, omitted two fresh ingredients so I could add another teaspoon of garlic, as well as changed some of the dry ingredients which doesn’t affect acidity)
- 4 pounds plums, washed, cut in half and pitted
- 3/4 c. chopped onion (about 1 medium)
- 1-1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1 c. white sugar
- 1 T. dry mustard
- 2 T. dry, ground ginger
- 1 T. salt
- 1 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 1 c. cider vinegar
- Chop plums in a food processor and transfer to a large heavy-bottomed pot (it should equal 8 cups chopped plums). Chop onions in processor and add them to the plums.
- Combine the remaining ingredients with plums and onions, bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Cook until thickened, about an hour.
- For a smooth sauce, puree with an immersion blender right in the pot and continue cooking for another hour, or until the sauce reaches the desired thickness.
- Ladle sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Attach lids and rings. Process 20 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Remove to a cloth to cool completely.
- Test lids, label jars, and use within a year or so.
Makes 8 1/2-pints