Honey, Plum and Blackberry Jelly with Plum Sorbet
Autumn has arrived and we have already had our fair share of rain showers and cold nights. The central heating has been turned on in the pub and I’m not so keen on the idea of when the frosts starts to settle in, reason being that I can imagine I’m going to land on my backside when I dash across the yard down the stairs on my way to the barn and walk-in fridge!
The colours of Autumn are luscious and bold and beautiful. Deep dark reds, greens and purples are as spectacular and reflective of Autumn as the colours in the delicious honey, plum and blackberry jelly with plum sorbet.
We buy most of our fruit from High-House Farm which is situated 6 miles from us. Every Monday and Thursday Piers gives me a call telling me about the fruits that are ready to be harvested and then the following day Jaco delivers them with a big smile. These are the kinds of stories and precise reasons why we made the big move to Suffolk. Receiving the freshest seasonal local produce on the same day that it was harvested – we are two very lucky chefs!
We currently get Victoria plums from High-House farm, but unfortunately the blackberries came to an end. I did, however, manage to keep some in the freezer for a “rainy day”. They work incredibly well from frozen and are equally as perfect. There is a myth that one should not pick blackberries after the 11th of October as the devil has urinated on them.…well I hope this makes you giggle as much as it made me laugh when Malcolm Emery told us this myth last week at a conference that I attended.
There are plenty of plum varieties available but for me there is only one queen of the plums and that is the Victoria plum. Victoria plums were first cultivated in Sussex in 1840 when they quickly became the nation’s favourite. There are over 300 cultivated plum varieties available in Britain plus the wild plums, such as wild damsons, bullaces, sloes and mirabelles.
The hedgerows are packed with wonderful free food. When Mr.P and I finally manage to get out and take a walk across the fields nearby we cannot help ourselves in picking the abundance of elderberries, wild plums, mirabells and rosehips on offer. We discovered a damson tree on our land and have picked several baskets full. They were turned into chutney, puree and finally today I have frozen several kilos. This should keep me going for a few weeks… I hope!
Plums freeze well so keep them for the colder months when stone fruits are less regularly available. Plums have a high pectin level and are ideal for making jams and jellies. They are not only synonymous with sweet recipes but equally known for use in savouries and work wonderfully with rich meats such as duck, teal, mallard, pigeon and venison.
Here are a few other recipes I suggest that could be made with plums:
Honey Plum and Blackberry Jelly
- 600g very ripe plums
- 300g blackberries
- 100g caster sugar
- Juice of ½ lime
- 25g honey
- 150ml water
- 1 vanilla pod
- 6 leaves of gelatine
Wash the plums, remove the stones and cut into quarters. Place the plums, blackberries, water, vanilla seeds, sugar, lime juice and honey into a vacuum bag and hard seal.
Bring the water to boil in a large saucepan and place the vacuum bag in the water, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove the bag from the water and leave to cool and infuse overnight.
Pass the cooled syrup through a fine sieve or hang it in muslin for one hour to drain.
Discard the fruits and keep the juice. Measure the juice and for a turn out jelly soak 6 leaves of gelatine per 600ml of juice and soak 5 leaves for 500ml, If you set the jelly in glasses then use 5 leaves of gelatine per 600ml of juice and 4 leaves for 500ml.
Soak and once soft, melt the gelatine and add it to the plum and blackberry juice.
Pour the jelly into 8cm x 3cm size moulds and set in the fridge.
- 500g ripe plums
- 80g caster sugar
- 50ml lime juice
- 1 free range egg white
Wash the plums, remove the stones and cut them in quarters. Freeze them individually until hard frozen. It is important that the frozen plums must be kept separated in their individual pieces.
Place a clean container in the freezer and chill the thermomix bowl in the fridge.
Weigh the sugar into the thermomix bowl. Grind the sugar and spice for 30 seconds on speed 10.
Add the frozen plums and lemon juice. Insert the thermomix spatula. Gradually turn the speed to 9 and blend the plums for 1 minute.
Scrape the sides down and repeat this process until the plums are smooth.
Add the egg white. Blend for 30 seconds on speed 8.
Scrape the sides down and insert the butterfly whisk and whisk the sorbet on speed 4 for 30 seconds.
Scoop the sorbet in to the cold plastic container and store in freezer until needed.
Turn the jelly out onto a chilled plate, place a teaspoon full of chopped pistachio nuts on top and place a small quenelle of plum sorbet on top. Garnish the plate with fresh blackberries.