Pickling fruit like plums is a good way to preserve them into the winter months, when they can then be used to add fruitiness to meals such as roasts.
These pickled plums should not be confused with the Japanese Umeboshi, which are not actually plums but the ume fruit which is more closely related to the apricot.
This is a quick and easy recipe, and can also be used with cherries.
See here for the pickled plum recipe in more detail.
£1.48 1kg plums (Opus or Victoria work well)
£0.35 275g caster sugar
£1.20 560ml of good-quality red wine vinegar
£0.02 6 cloves
£0.02 10 peppercorns
£0.07 4 star anise
£0.17 1 cinnamon quill
£2.09 per kg of pickles
The plums are washed and dried, then any ones with blemishes discarded.
A selection of spices is added to the vinegar in a stainless steel saucepan along with the sugar, then brought to the boil and simmered for 3 minutes to infuse the flavours.
The plums are packed into sterilised jars (Kilner Jars are ideal), and the vinegar poured over.
The skins will split off the plums, which doesn't look too attractive, but saves having to peel them later.
Store in a cool dark place, ideally for two months before using.
10 minutes Preparation
5 minutes Boiling vinegar
5 minutes Bottling
The plums retain a nice solid texture, with a bit of crunch. They taste both sweet and sharp, with an underlying fruitiness.
A bit like a cross between a pickled onion and a fruity plum chutney.