Full Moon Chinese Plum Sauce

ripe santa rosa plums with bluebird ceramic sculptures

Since summer’s arrived along with July’s full moon, everyone’s ‘plum crazy’ with a bounty of plums, pluots, plumcots, and other luscious summer stone fruit ripening all at once!

Friends with backyard fruit trees can’t pick them fast enough. Fallen fruits are enjoyed by both domestic (horses & cattle) and wild critters (birds, opossums, racoons, rats, rolly-poly bugs, slugs, snails and worms) munching or nibbling the sweet treats.

The ‘blue’ birds that LOVE ripe plums in our area are Scrub Jays. They wait to migrate to higher elevations until AFTER the plum season’s over. Scrub Jays pierce the ripe plums with their bills sucking out the juices using their bills as straws.

My friend, Vern’s overwhelmed. Asking everyone he knows to come get his Santa Rosa plums. Sure enough when we went to Vern’s house last weekend, who greeted us in the front yard? A scrub jay, aware the plum tree was there before we did.

Vern gave us a huge bucketful of plums. His daughter, Kelsey, delivered another small grocery bag full two days later. I’ve made two large batches of plum jams: Madeira Plum Jam and ‘Ruby Goodness’ Plum Jam, followed by Full Moon Chinese Plum Sauce this morning. Still have 4 pounds of Vern’s ripe Santa Rosa plums, enough for another large batch of jam….and he jotted me an email today begging us to come by to harvest more!!!

Full Moon Chinese Plum Sauce

Vern found Kelly Rossiter’s post on HowStuffWorks. Emailed it to me as a break from all the sweet stuff.

According to Kelly, she spotted the recipe on Serious Eats, where author Caroline Russock mentioned it comes from the book Put ’em Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton.

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Chinese Plum Sauce Ingredients…plus Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

INGREDIENTS
2 pounds, Organic (or non-sprayed) Red plums unpeeled, washed, pitted and quartered
1/2 cup Organic apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup  Organic, non-GMO Soy Sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos
1/2 cup lightly packed Organic Brown Sugar
3 Tablespo0ns freshly grated Organic Ginger (or a bit more, finely diced)
2 or 1 very large clove Organic Garlic
2 whole Star Anise

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Prepped Santa Rosa plums and diced fresh ginger root

INSTRUCTIONS:
Kelly had helpful tips, which I took clues from and varied the preparation slightly. She says “This is a really easy recipe to make because you don’t have to peel the fruit. The skins provide the tartness that compliments the sweetness of the flesh, and the skins also provide the pectin to thicken the sauce.” She found her immersion blender added a lot of air to the sauce when she pureed it after cooking, so I decided to puree it after the first 5 minutes….just enough time to start to soften the ingredients. .

  1. Combine the plums, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic,  in a large non-reactive pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the ingredients soften.
  2. Purée the sauce with a stick blender.
  3. Add the star anise, continuing boiling until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Fish out the anise and discard.
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You may store in the following ways:

  • Refrigerate to use freshly made: Ladle into bowls or jars. Cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
  • Use the easy canning methods discussed here for longer pantry storage on a cool, dark shelf for up to 1 year.

YIELD: About 3 cups (barely less)

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The Wise Guys are really pleased that I made Full Moon Chinese Plum Sauce.

(Pardon the Wise Guys shy looks, they’re not used to being photographed.) Thanks Vern for the idea. Must make you a wise guy, too!

SUGGESTIONS: Kelly mentions this sauce is great foil for the richness of the pot stickers, as a barbeque sauce for pork tenderloin, tasty on  Asian chicken as well. My hubby and I are vegetarian, so we’ll use it over braised tofu, grilled veggies, drizzled on cheese sandwiches, or perhaps even as aside for Indian curries for an ethnic fushion dinner.

SOURCES:
http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/chinese-plum-sauce-recipe.htm
http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/07/chinese-plum-sauce-recipe.html

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