These are organic Pluot plums. They are a cross between a plum and an apricot and one I just can’t resist. They have a small window of availability here which means I’m scooping up more than I can eat because each year I’m determined to cook with them. So far, while I’ve enjoyed all the things I’ve made with them, I end up thinking the best thing to do with them is just eat them. While I was standing at the counter choosing my fruit, a warm pluot in hand, I remembered reading last year about a jam made with pluots that had herbs and pepper in it. So home to the stack of cooking magazines and shelves of cookbooks. After a few tries (I know, I can’t believe it either!) I found it. Gourmet magazine, yes I still miss it, had an article about pluots with several different ideas and recipes to try with them. This jam is a wonder and plays the lush sweetness and gentle tang of the fruit perfectly against the bite of pepper and soft herbal astringency. It’s fabulous with cheese which is all I’ve gotten to try it with so far. I’m thinking that it would be great over sweet cream ice cream, and I’m betting (and will absolutely try this) it will be a killer glaze for pork. If for no other reason, the color alone is worth making it for.
I’ve fiddled a bit with recipe, but I didn’t stray too far from the original. I did peel half of the pluots as several were very ripe and the skin literally peeled right off. The rest were just chopped up, peel and all. The original also called for chives but I left the chives out as I don’t like them cooked particularly, but it’s something I would consider sprinkling on at the last minute. I added a touch of finely chopped shallot to stand in for the onion flavor they had in mind.
Pluot and Rosemary Jam
adapted from Gourmet Magazine June 2009, recipe created by Amelia Saltsman
1 pound of ripe Pluots, pitted and chopped (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons of honey
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 teaspoon of finely minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon of finely minced shallot
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
Place all ingredients into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring the whole time. Lower the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring frequently until it fruit is soft and the mixture is thick. This time can vary, it took me about 35 minutes. (The first time I made this it didn’t get thick for me even after almost an hour. To get it to thicken I added 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with water.) Cool, and place into jars and keep refrigerated. You can also do the hot water bath canning method and then it would be shelf stable.