[posted by Ann]
August plums—dark, dark, blackish-purple-- signal the waning days of summer, and they are absolutely necessary in the kitchen of a seasonal Ohio cook.
A very simple and versatile recipe for these beauties is to cook them down into a sweet and tangy fruit sauce flavored with wine or spirits, sweetened with honey, and sparked with fresh cardamom or dried lavender. The inspiration for this recipe came from a soft plum jam or conserva, in Lynn Rosetto Casper’s Italian Country Kitchen.
The sauce keeps well in the refrigerator, and it combines beautifully with plain yogurt, ricotta cheese, or ice cream. It welcomes other fresh fruits, especially sliced peaches and nectarines.
I use a kitchen shears to prepare the plums, it is so easy to snip the plums in half, and cut out around the pit. Be sure to cut them over the pot, to capture all of the delicious juice.
August plum sauce
1 box of purple plums
1 cup red wine or fortified wine such as Madeira or Port
½ cup fragrant honey
½ cup turbinado or raw sugar
1 tablespoon fine balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
seeds from 3-5 cardamom pods, crushed
1 tablespoon Amaretto
1 teaspoon vanilla or 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
optional: ½ teaspoon dried culinary lavendar
1. Mix honey, sugar, and wine in saucepan until liquid bubbles and everything is completed dissolved.
2. Cut plums in half over the pot (to catch all the juice ) adding the plums to the pot while removing the pits. It’s easy to do this with a cooking shears, snipping out around the pit.
3. Add cinnamon, cardamom, optional lavender and vanilla sugar, cook over medium heat until plums have softened and broken down. Add balsamic vinegar.
4. Cool for 5 minutes, stir in Amaretto and vanilla, refrigerate.