Saturday, 7 September 2013

What to do with all these plums?

When we moved to our lovely house, we inherited a Victoria plum tree. I was so excited as I love a good plum! Every year since I can remember we used to go plum picking at an orchard near Burnham Thorpe in North Norfolk, so the excitement at having our own supply was all to much for a giddy mother of two (soon to be three).

So imagine my disappointment when last year we discovered every plum on our beloved tree had a maggot inside. I was gutted. I decided that we would try to cure the tree of this greedy grub and took steps to try and prevent this from happening this year. But again, I was faced with disappointment when quite a few of the early ripe plums had been infested...

I thought the tree was a no-go again, so I went a bit mad picking up plums from the local greengrocer, picking our usual glut in Norfolk and helping our neighbour off load some of his heavy crop. Then a big branch snapped off our tree under the sheer weight of plums. Mr Mean had a good go of picking all the plums off so we could see if there were any salvageable fruit left. And as it happens, every plum I've cut into is free of those pesky maggots. Hurray! Only now I have a whole load of fruit! Let the preserving begin!

We've just stewed some of the plums in some soft brown sugar and served them up with some whipped vanilla cream and chunks of shortbread. I think I will try and make some plum jam, damson and plum jelly and probably a nice spicy chutney that will be ready in plenty of time for Christmas meats and cheeses. I might even try some fruit leathers as we have a whole load of apples to use too - and the kids love them! I will keep you posted! I have a whole lot of cooking to do now. Wish me luck!

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