I have recently come across a few articles claiming the health properties of purple fruit and vegetables. Now that I consciously try to include something purple in my weekly shop my food options are so much more vibrant! The veggie drawer usually has purple cabbage, bringal (also known as eggfruit or aubergine) and even the occasional purple cauliflower. How I wish we had those deep purple-fleshed potatoes in South Africa, but it is the range of blueberries and the fruit that excite me most. Plums are with us for such a short season and so while there are still plums in the store I must share some ideas with this delicious fruit.
I prefer the purple plum to the paler green and red variety.
To cook the plums, just wash them well, remove the stalk if present, and cut the flesh from the pip in chunks. Do not cut these too small as they disintegrate too much. I prefer it chunky.
Place the flesh in a heavy based saucepan made with non-reactive metal e.g. stainless steel. Never use aluminium pans.
Gradually heat the plums. They will release their own juice as they heat up and come to the boil. Do not stir vigorously as they will disintegrate too much, just move them about occasionally to distribute the heat. Simmer for a few minutes until the mixture has a vibrant chunky jammy consistency.
Taste! I love the slightly tart flavour of plums, so I seldom add sugar. If early season or slightly unripe plums are too tart you can add sugar or sweetener. Start by adding approximately 125ml white sugar to 500ml stewed plums, add more to taste. I prefer to add 1 or 2 sachets of Stevia sweetener instead of sugar. If I am using the plums for a savoury application I prefer not to add any sweetener or sugar.
Place in a glass or plastic container. Cover. This mixture keeps in the fridge for 2 weeks. Or it may be frozen in portions to be used throughout the year.
To serve as a super healthy and refreshing breakfast simply add a dollop of yoghurt or layer in a beautiful glass with your favourite granola or muesli.
Or as a dessert top it with a meringue or replacing the yoghurt with a dollop of whipped cream. I usually opt for double cream yoghurt instead of cream for dessert. Play around with layering in a beautiful glass.
Gammon with a Plum Sauce
In our home gammon is not reserved exclusively for Christmas. I cook a whole gammon during the year as it is a delicious quick meal or a versatile ingredient in other dishes. It is more economical and more delicious than buying sliced ham or gammon from the deli counter. Gammon made from pork neck usually has some marbled fat, making it deliciously succulent in hot dishes. The other cuts only have a layer of surface fat, making it a low kilojoule option once the visible fat is removed.
Recipe: Gammon steaks with plum sauce