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Farm Fresh: Plum crazy for plum chutney

Thursday, September 27, 2001

By Marlene Parrish, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Work now, party later. This chutney makes a wonderful hostess gift during the holidays. And yes, now is a good time to put up a few goodies to give as gifts. The chutney is a good stand-in for cranberry sauce with chicken, duck, quail and turkey. It perks up pork, too. The recipe doubles well, so you might as well make a lot as a little.

PURPLE PLUM CHUTNEY

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup white raisins
1/2 cup preserved ginger, sliced thin
1/4 thinly sliced onion
2 fat cloves garlic, sliced thin
2 teaspoons mustard seed
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
20 Italian prune plums (3 1/2 cups) halved and seeded

Mix the sugars and vinegar. Bring to the boiling point. Add raisins, ginger, onion, garlic, mustard seed, salt and red peppers. Mix the chutney well and stir in the plums.

Simmer the mixture until it thickens, about 50 minutes, stirring frequently and gently. Fill three hot, sterilized half-pint jars. Seal and store in a dark place.

POACHED ITALIAN PRUNE PLUMS

There's nothing prettier or tastier that a bowl of cinnamon-scented, ruby red plums in syrup. After the plums have been gobbled up, ladle the leftover syrup over ice cream or cake.

1 pound Italian prune plums
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 small cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Wash the prunes and halve them; remove the pits.

Simmer the sugar, water, cinnamon and vanilla for 5 minutes. Add the prune halves and poach gently until just tender, spooning the liquid over them occasionally and turning them once during the cooking. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, September 27, 2001

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