Canberra plum sauce

We are blessed in Canberra, town planners included many wonderful fruit bearing trees when they planned those that would line the suburban streets. There is one street in Braddon planted entirely with walnuts. There are several streets planted with plums. I am most interested in one particular plum. For the purposes of this post, I will call it the ‘Canberra’ plum. It grows on an attractive tree with dark burgundy leaves. The fruit is small, the same colour as those leaves, and dark all the way through. It has a deep, rich flavour but has a bitterness on the skin and seed.

I was recently on Canberra’s 666 ABC radio talking about preserving these and other, wild foods. I had a great time with Lish Fejer. I took her in a few wild greens, as well as some of my preserved wild fruits. It made me realise it’s about time I posted the recipe for my plum and ginger sauce, made with those abundant dark cherry plums. You can pick these plums before they’re ripe. If the plums are still firm, they’ll add a lovely tartness to the sauce and will still be full of rich flavour. You don’t need to pit them for this recipe; you’ll push the fruit pulp through a sieve and discard the seeds and skins later. The plums ripen at vastly different times across Canberra. Those in Braddon can be picked in early December, but those on the south side are fine well into January.

800 grams ‘Canberra’ plums
450 millilitres white vinegar
500 grams raw sugar
100 grams fresh ginger

Wash the plums. Place them in a large saucepan with the vinegar. Slice the ginger and add it to the pot. Bring the contents to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes, or till the plums fall apart.

Pour the contents of the pan through a fine sieve, pushing through the plum pulp. When you have only seeds, skins and ginger left in the sieve, discard the solids.

Add the sugar to the plum pulp and bring to a boil.

Pour into sterilised bottles and process in a water bath for 30 minutes.

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About Susan

Susan is the ACT Convenor of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. She is currently undertaking a PhD in International Relations. Susan continues to work on the Annual Civil Society Dialogue on Women, Peace and Security.
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17 Responses to Canberra plum sauce

  1. Paula McInerney says:

    I need to try this plum and ginger sauce. I think it would be amazing.

  2. That sounds very simple, I like the thought of the ginger to just give it more zing, perfect.

    • Susan says:

      I think so Noel. Those plums are so rich and tasty, they provide all the complexity I need for a plum sauce, with the little bit of ginger, I think it’s great.

  3. Thanks for the recipe! I must try it! That’s interesting that the plums on the south side can be picked a little later.

  4. Karla says:

    Hey I love plum. You are lucky though its easily accessible there

  5. fivebeansfood says:

    Love the idea of using local foraged produce, and this looks like a tasty recipe

  6. I have a sour cherry tree growing in my backyard. I wonder if this recipe would work for that too

  7. It’s really amazing to find trees we can pluck fruits from for free in Canberra!

  8. ramblingtart says:

    Those are gorgeous plums. So fat and juicy! 🙂

  9. Plum and ginger…. what a fabulous combo of flavours, the really great news about reading this post today, I found a plum tree in my backyard, and it has so much fruit on it I can make your recipe. Winning! 🙂 PS: You look super cute in front of the sign, have me a similar one, but with a little more terror on my face.

  10. It’s great to be living in a place where you can pick fresh fruit off the trees. The recipe sounds simple and tasty as well!

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