Since we bought Petraia we’ve planted lots of other plum trees. In our frutteto there are biricoccolo, suregio, susincocco, Paviot, Claudina, Sorriso di Primavera, Mascina, Santa Rosa and Mirabella plum trees. Every other year they fruit abundantly, producing sweet, succulent plums. But we only get to enjoy this fruit if we can manage to pick it before the birds get to it.
Meanwhile our old tree is loaded with sour fruit every year that the birds are not the least bit interested in. This fruit is perfect for making pickled plums we can enjoy year round.
Below are two different ways to make a plum pickle. The first is my mother’s sweet and spicy pickled plum from Dinamica and the second is a recipe for sour lacto-fermented plums. I’ve also got a vat of Umeboshi style plums on the go, and if they are a success I will put up a separate post about how to make them.
- 2 cups red wine vinegar
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 tsp. whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 quarts firm pears, peaches or plums, peeled, stoned and cut in 6 or 8 wedges
- Bring the vinegar, sugar and spices to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the fruit and poach gently until the fruit is barely tender. Cooking time will depend on your fruit. My plums take only a couple of minutes. Be very careful not to overcook the fruit. Transfer fruit to sterilized jars and pour the liquid over, to cover. Seal the jars and let them come to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator where they will keep well for at least at month.
- Do not use soft, ripe fruit to make pickles, it needs to be firm. If your fruit is small, like my plums were there is no need to peel, stone and cut up. Just toss the fruit in the jars whole.
- Sea Salt
- For lacto-fermented plums make a brine using 2 tablespoons of sea salt dissolved in 1 quart of water. Fill sterilized jars with plums and cover with the (cooled) brine. Keep the jars in a dark room or cupboard for a few days until they being to ferment before transferring to the refrigerator where they will develop more complexity of flavor and keep nicely for months.