Saturday, January 16, 2010
Cut and Paste
Very productive past few days. The Damsons have had a bumper year. This is only my second crop and what you see is the product of my second day of jam making. I had more fruit than I knew what to do with- I tried my hand at making fruit pastes( also called fruit comfits or pastilles). We love our cheese platter and usually buy in the fruit pastes, so why not?
I cooked the plums and a little lemon juice and water, cooled and pureed in a blender. I put it through a sieve and into a pan over a low heat gradually adding equal amount of sugar. Stirred for 45minutes. Then turned out into lined slice pan to cool. It turns from a glorious pink to dark purple. Then cut with a hot knife into diamond shapes. Roll shapes in caster sugar or place a blanched almond in the centre of each. They need to be stored for 2 months before using although going by our tasting last night it will not last that long. In days gone by the paste was poured into large shallow plates to mature for several days in a cool, dark cupboard. Then turned out stacked one on top of the other, interleaved with bay leaves, and covered in muslin. It was brought out for special occasions like Christmas and served with a little port wine poured over. Again yum!