With incredible timing my dear friends Marie Claire and Stephen arrived Sunday afternoon with 3 kg of wild plums, the small yellow ones which I know make the finest of jams. I was just thinking of cycling over to my favourite wild plum site. So over two days Sunday and Monday of last week, I make two lots. I know that my pressure cooker, which acts as my jamming pan can take 1.5 kg of sugar and up to two pounds of fruit, and have room for a good rolling boil, so I am not tempted to make more than that at one time.
This morning I led Mr S to believe that I was going out shopping for frocks etc., but seeing that the few plums our poor tree has managed to bear this year, needed picking, I set to and got busy. Compared to the bountiful load of last year, the couple of pounds this year is hardly worth talking about. However, I was not about to let them go to waste. I have eaten a few, but having some bites on them, have had to cut them open to check for creepy crawlies. I looked at my old tried and tested Fruit Book by Jane Grigson, and went for her Plum Chutney with a twist of my own. When I am making my Chinese Stir Fry or Duck Breasts flash fried, I often add some plum jam or chutney to round off the sauce, and hence my inspiration for adding the Star Anise. After potting three large jars, I have a little dish, and even without maturing, the flavours are wonderful.