Preserving demo recipes- Dad's Pickled Damsons or Plums with a Christmas Twist

Added by Freya on 10 November 2010
Makes around 2 x 450g jars

300 ml cider vinegar
2-3 cm piece of cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp of cloves
Juice and finely grated rind of half an orange
500g of damsons or plums
200 - 350g of light brown sugar (some of which can be substituted for honey if you like)

Heat the cider vinegar with the cinnamon, cleves, zest and juice and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse and cool before straining. Discard the spices.

Pierce each damson or plum all over with a sharp needle and add to the vinegar. Use a clean pan for a clearer finished product. Simmer the damsons very gently in the vinegar until they begin to tenderise.

Remove the damsons, returning any vinegar to the pan and pack the fruit into still-warm sterilised jars. Add the sugar (and honey if desired) to the vinegar, dissolve and boil for long enough for the syrup to reduce and thicken slightly. Pour the liquid over the fruit in the jars whilst still hot and seal immediately. Leave undisturbed in a cool, dark place for 1 1/2 to 2 months before eating.

These sweet and sour pickles are great with cold meats, nut roasts, strong cheeses etc.

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