Here’s a recipe for those of us too worn out to fuss with canning, pickling and putting up stuff, but still enjoy savoring a bit of Michigan’s autumn bounty and fruits of our (minimal) effort through the winter.
I ran into my next door neighbor, Krystyna, at Hiller’s a couple of days ago as she was shoveling prune plums by the pound into bags. She said every year she makes a big batch of prune plum compote and it keeps, refrigerated, through the winter. She uses it to spread on bread or waffles, tosses it with yogurt or spoons the compote over ice cream.
Krystyna said all you do is slice the plums in half, discard the pit, and simmer them in water for many, many hours until they are a thickened jelly-like consistency. So I did just that! Aside from pitting the plums and pulling out the coiled plum skins as they rose to the surface, my only effort was in remembering to stir the poaching fruit from time to time.
The result was a marvelously tart, lip-smacking flavor that I balanced with agave syrup, brown sugar and cinnamon. The final result reminds me of the American Spoon fruit butters I love. I imagine you could substitute the plums with any seasonal stone or other fruit.
These prune plums are everywhere; after leaving Hillers, I saw them at the Stadium Whole Foods, as well. Only 99 cents a recession-busting pound at both stores! Here’s another easy recipe for using fresh basil to freeze pesto in ice-cube containers to enjoy through the winter months