The summer after I moved to my new house I was excited to discover a mature Davidson’s Plum tree at the back of the property. I was excited for two reasons. Firstly it seems that neither bats nor birds are attracted to the fruit, and secondly and very conveniently the fruit drops when ripe and all you have to do is pick it up.
Davidson’s Plum fruit and trees are becoming more readily available, and can be found in some gourmet and “bush tucker”stores if you don’t want to wait the 4-5 years for your tree to fruit. I have a Davidsonia jerseyana – which is native to the sub-tropical rainforests of Northern New South Wales. The fruit of this tree is extremely tart and only the very brave would attempt to eat it raw. It’s also very low in pectin so if you want to make a nice thick jam you’ll need to add some. Rather than add the commercial stuff, I experimented with green apples. The following recipe works quite well and the resulting jam has a tangy/sweet taste which goes particularly well with toasted macadamia and fruit bread from Bellingen’s Hearthfire Bakery (more on them later …)
You can also use the jam as an accompaniment to duck or pork, or thin it down a little with oil and use it as a glaze for Atlantic Salmon.
500 gm Davidson’s Plums
500 gm sugar
One large green apple
juice of half a lemon
½ a vanilla pod – split open
- Wash the plums in a sieve to remove any dust or dirt. Cut the plums in half and remove the two small seeds. Wear gloves if you don’t want to end up with nasty purple fingernails.
- Peel and core the apple and chop it into approximately 1cm square pieces.
- Put the plums, apple, lemon juice and sugar into a saucepan and add just enough water to stop the bottom layer from burning (approximately 50mls) – not too much or it will take too long to reduce.
- Bring the water to a simmer slowly, stirring all the time to ensure that the sugar is dissolved before the liquid starts boiling.
- Add the vanilla pod.
- Put a small saucer in the freezer to chill
- Leave on a gentle simmer for at least an hour until the mixture has thickened and reduced. Test the jam by dropping a teaspoonful on the frozen saucer – it should almost immediately thicken.
- Allow to cool slightly and then spoon into sterilized jars.
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