After my weekend outing to the Farmers Market, I found myself with more plums than I knew what to do with. So I made this delicious puree. You can use this for a lot of things, like serving it as an accompaniment with cheese (as pictured here), a topping for ice cream or pudding, or as a luxurious addition to your morning yogurt.
makes about 1/3 cup puree
about 10 small plums
note: I used “sugar plums”, which are in season now and are quite juicy. you could choose another kind of plum, but make sure it is a watery/juice variety
1/4 cup water
3 tbs maple syrup
2 tbs sugar
1 whole cinnamon stick
1 whole star anise
3 whole cloves
1 large bay leaf, crumbled
1 tbs butter
Cut the plums in half and separate the halves. Leave the pits in. Add the halved plums (and pits) to a pot, along with the water, syrup, sugar, whole cinnamon stick, whole star anise, whole cloves, and crumbled bay leaf. Using low to medium heat, simmer the ingredients, occasionally mashing the plums as they cook to incorporate. Stir this mixture often as it reduces and thickens. It’s good to have this eventually come to a simmer, but do not boil too vigorously.
Once the mixture has begun to simmer and the plums have broken down and incorporated with the other ingredients, continue to cook for an addition 10-15 minutes to allow the puree to thicken, reduce, and become flavorful. Stir often!
Once the mixture is thick and dark, give it a taste. If it’s too tart, add more sugar (or syrup), until it reaches your desired level of sweetness. This puree is not meant to be super sweet, though. It should be a bit tart and a bit spicy. Turn off the heat and whisk in the butter.
Now press the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. The idea here is to remove the pits, spices, and skins but press every other bit of goodness through. Really work the mixture with a spoon, stirring and pressing against the mess until you’ve extracted all the lovely puree you can.
Discard what remains in the strainer.
Your puree is now ready to serve! It’ll keep in a sealed container in the fridge for at least a week.
If you want to impress the heck out of dinner guests (or treat yourself), pair this puree with a lovely triple cream cheese, like a Brie or Camenbert. I love this with Cowgirl Creamery’s Mount Tam cheese. It would also be a fabulous topping for Tapioca Pudding.