Stolen Plum Sauce

 I arrived home on Monday night to discover that my plums were perfectly ripe and waiting to be picked.  Unsurprisingly, my recently planted, young tree has produced very few plums this first year but there have been enough for D and I to enjoy a sticky piece of fruit every morning and evening for the past few days.  He can’t get over how delicious they taste when plucked straight from the branch!

In stark contrast to my meagre bounty, my grumpy neighbour has LOTS of plums.  And, thus, the fruit thieving issue rises again

 Last time it raised its ugly head everyone agreed that it was fine for me to eat the raspberries that had climbed through the fence and into my garden.  Not sure why I fretted about that.  In hindsight, it’s a no-brainer.  But getting up at dawn in order to climb up the adjoining fence and stretch out precariously to plunder plums… Well, in some people’s eyes, that would be totally unacceptable.  But I did it.

 In my defence, the grumpy neighbour and his family are not picking the plums.  Their fruit ripened earlier than mine and I have been sadly watching perfect pink plums pass their best, shrivel and fall from the tree, unfulfilled.  In my mind, I am not a common thief but a hero of fruit.  I ask you:  what better fate could a plum have than to be greedlily eaten in a car on the way to work or to be introduced to duck, spring onion and cucumber?  None, I tell you, none!

Convinced?  Me neither.  

 Plum Sauce

350g pitted plums

225g demerara sugar

150ml water

2 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp chilli powder

Black pepper

1/2 lime, juice only

  • Add the plums, sugar and water to a pan.  Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 mins.
  • Mash up the plums.  Add the star anise, cinnamon, chilli and pepper.  Cook gently for 30 mins.
  • Cool  and add lime juice to taste.

I usually eat this with my aromatic crispy duck in pancakes.  Today, however, I boiled some noodles and tossed with a dressing of walnut oil, sesame oil, soy sauce and powdered ginger.  I then added chopped cucumber, spring onion and some shredded duck.  Topped that with the plum sauce.

D claimed it to be the best thing I’d cooked in ages.  I choose to be flattered by that rather than read into it too much!

21 thoughts on “Stolen Plum Sauce

  1. I say have a midnight raid and get all the fruit you can haul over the fence!!!
    Lucy has a post up about green mango’s and I have a neighbor who has tons of green mango’s on his tree. But like your neighbor, they are a grumpy family who are always afraid to smile! I would not mind making a midnight raid on his tree for some fresh green mango’s but my problem is that I would have to have a BIG ladder to reach the fruit! Now that is where the problem begins. I guess I will have to settle for purchasing one at the market.
    Your plum sauce sounds scrumptious! I will save this one for the next time we have duck!

  2. Yummy! This would be great with the Chinese csipy skin duck i made last week… (Haven’t blogged about it yet!)… I have bookmarked this recipe to try later.

  3. On the contrary Wendy, I need NO convincing. Well done. Pilfer away. It’s a CRIME to let such a bounty simply rot and fall to the ground.

    Star anise – that exotic flavour always makes me happy.

  4. Beautiful! I’ve always wanted to make my own plum sauce.

    Feel now regret about liberating the fruit. Every year, at The Huntington Library and Gardens (a spectacular site to visit, if you’re ever in this area of the world), three persimmon trees ripen their lovely loot in the back of the parking lot. One year, my father climbed into the trees and tossed still-firm specimens down to me while the “securOcop” on his little cart got closer and closer. We managed to pick about 20 of them before Dad hopped out of the tree and we zoomed away. Now, each year I go back and snag a few when no one is looking.

    Don’t let good food go to waste–that’s my belief!

  5. It’s better to pick those plums than have them rot away! I have a theory. “Rescued” fruits taste so much better. I used to have a neighbour back in Nepal whose peach tree was so huge and used to extend to our balcony. When little, I and my friends used to constantly *cough” rescue as many fruits we could and run off to my room which happned to be next to the balcony and devour them. The neighbour fortunately was not so grumpy as yours and one day she payed us a visit with bags laden with peaches from her tree. But alas, they did not taste as good as the rescued ones!!!!

  6. I’m having the same problem with my neighbor. She’s the only one with tomatoes and there they hang, red, ripe.
    I only have to crawl through the hedge… and if she didn’t have the chicken coop right there…with the hunting dog chained to scare away the fox….oh hell, I’m going to anyway…

  7. LOL! I’ve been told that stolen fruits always tastes better. I hope that none of the juices dripped down your shirt while you were driving to work 😉

    The sauce sounds delicious. Perfect for the kangaroo steak that I am cooking today. (i’m not at work today – it’s a public holiday for Sydney due to the APEC summit held here). I have some frozen plums, so if I gather enough energy, I might just make some today. It won’t taste as good as yours though.

  8. Sirikarn – Welcome! And thanks!

    Deb – There must be a way… 🙂

    Anh – Crispy skin duck is one of my all time favourites. Look forward to reading how you prepare it.

    Lucy – Thank you for the support! 😉 Love star anise too. So pretty and aromatic.

    Christina – Hee hee. I have a hillarious image of that wee security cart getting closer and closer to you and your Dad. 🙂

    Brianna – Welcome back!

    Mainyacha – Fresh peaches? Wow. I’m envious!

    Katiez – Yeah, my tomatoes did nothing this year at all. One experiment that did NOT work.

    Cynthia – Have to admit: I’ve been eating it with a spoon since the night I made it!

    Nora – Kangaroo steak? Really? Weird… 🙂

    Maryann – 😀 Thanks for the blessing to steal!

  9. hi wendy,

    I love your pics!

    The plum sauce sounds great, my hubby loves duck, I am going to try it. You have just reminded me that I have a plum cake/pudding recipe to put on my blog. My mum used to bake it, I think its a german recipe, anyway will post it over the weekend.

    hope work wasn’t too bad and you are not crabbit anymore??

  10. Megan – Thank! Not crabbit in the slightest anymore. 🙂 Looking forward to that plum cake recipe.

    Helen – Thank you and welcome! Laughed heartily at my typo… then fixed it. 🙂 350g of plums!

  11. I’m going with “hero of fruit!” How awful to let all that beautiful fruit rot on the branch. I see no issue of scruples at all – especially when the plums are used to sauce crispy duck. How delicious!

  12. Ah Wendy, I do love your blog, but I also love your style! Reassuringly (??) I also would be awaking at dawn to purloin/liberate fruit. Before going on hols, I woke up early to walk our Polish builders through the garden and show them what would be ripening while we were away, begging them to eat it all. Fingers crossed it translated – it would make me too sad to think of those raspberries rotting.

    Thanks again for the tips re: Stockholm restaurants. Ate at Pelikan one of the two nights there, and really enjoyed it!

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