PLUM CHUTNEY WITH LICORICE
The Scandinavian Kitchen
by Camilla Plum
This recipe, admittedly, is not particularly Nordic in origin, but its fruity, sweet-sour feel certainly is. It tastes very good with an array of cold cuts and cheeses, or with pork, venison, or reindeer.
The recipe is not very traditional for a chutney, as there is no onion, but it is undoubtedly delicious. The method of slowly baking the chutney in the oven produces perfect levels of caramelization and evaporation. You can use proper or cherry plums.
Makes about 3 jars
• 2¼ lb plums (pitted weight)
• 1½ cups sugar
• Generous 3/4 cup cider vinegar
• Generous 3/4 cup red wine or apple juice
• 1 large cinnamon stick
• 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
• 10 cardamom pods
• 2 bay leaves
• 4 tablespoons licorice root, finely cut
• 2-3 chiles
• 2 whole mace
• 5 long peppers
• 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Mix everything together well in a deep oven pan making sure that the fruit fits into a single layer. Place in the oven and let the fruit sweat but keep a close eye on it. You must turn everything over once or twice while the plums release their juices and while these evaporate. If the whole lot threatens to burn turn down the heat. You II need to adjust the sugar after 30-40 minutes. The level of sweetness may well be fine but you might need to add much much more sugar.
The chutney is finished when it looks nice and gooey, with the beautiful almost whole plums lying in a rich thick, spicy syrup.
TIP: You can make a superb jam by using the same recipe but excluding the spices and vinegar—though both cardamom and cinnamon are delicious in a plum jam should you wish to try them. The baking method is perfect as there is so much water in plums that its always a problem to boil them down in a saucepan without them burning or sticking and the jam often becomes mushy because you have to stir it so much. The oven method leaves whole, amber pieces of caramelized plum flesh in your jam.