When the prunes are ripe, for many it’s the first sign that autumn is approaching
And with fall coming the appetite for more hearty and well spiced food grows. In that case, these prune jams are just right, some to spread on your bread and others to eat with cheese, venison, or other «fall food»
There are different prune varieties
They differ in size and color.
Most of them are oval, between the size of a walnut to that of an egg and bluish-purple, the stone can be easily taken out of the pulp, which is rather firm.
However, if the fruit is very ripe, the pulp becomes soft. Depending on the variety, you can harvest them between July and October.
Above all, they taste really good if they were allowed to ripen on the tree.
Prunes are not plums
But they are related. Plums are bigger and rounder than prunes and they are available in yellow, red, or purple-black. The pit does not easily separate from the pulp which is softer than that of the prunes.
Prunes are not very durable
That means they have to be processed quickly. They taste fresh in cakes, tarts, muesli, or clafoutis (casserole with fruit).
There are several ways to preserve them
You can freeze them best if they are halved and pitted. After unfreezing, they are very soft and can be processed like the fresh ones in cakes.
You can dehydrate them and simply enjoy them as dry fruit or cook them in salty dishes, for example, in a tajine.
Or you can make prunes jam like I did
I cooked them with some spices, the results are the following:
cardamom: fresh, cheeky, great on bread but also with vanilla ice cream
vanilla: warm, creamy, on bread or vanilla ice cream or instead of raspberry jam on the Linzer cake
cinnamon: warm, reminds of Christmas, great for Christmas cookies, for example, «Spitzbuben»
mace: unusual but good for venison or on bread
allspice: smells like autumn, for venison or with cheese
juniper berries: excellent in cooked fruits (as a side dish to autumnal meats)
long pepper: a true surprise, hot, warm, enveloping, slightly woody in the taste. An enrichment for every cheeseboard
And here is the recipe for prunes jam:
- 1.1 kg prunes, pitted and then mashed
- 1 kg of sugar (or 1.1 kg gelling sugar, then omit the gelling powder)
- 30 g of gelling powder
One the following spices:
- 1.5 tsp cardamom, ground
- 10 cm vanilla bar, cut lengthwise
- 2 tsp cinnamon, ground
- 1.5 tsp of mace, ground
- 2.5 tsp allspice, ground
- 25 juniper berries, slightly crushed
- 2-3 tsp long pepper, ground
Mix the mashed prunes, sugar, gelling powder (or gelling sugar) and selected spice, bring to the boil and boil for 4 minutes.
Then fill in clean, sterilized jars and close immediately.
I hope you like them, just like me ?
Next time you will learn about what spices actually are…