Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Bumper Harvest

This year has been a variable harvest in the garden, the rhubarb and potatoes were not so good this year, but the plums have been a bumper crop. Considering that I pruned back hard last year, taking off about half of the new growth, the number of plums is quite unexpected.
These are Victoria plums which are ideal for jam making, pies, crumbles and chutneys. I needed to remove them from the branches quite quickly once they were ripe enough. The damp weather has resulted in an excessive number of slugs and snails this year. They are attracted by the scent of ripe plums and will climb the trees to devour them if they are left too long.
Plum crumble is easy. Just half the fruits to remove the stones and add a topping to bake. Sugar is optional as the ripe fruit are sweet and tart. Making jam and chutney required a more tedious approach, chopping the fruits into small cubes and in food quantities. I put some cracked pips into a muslin bag to add pectin to help the jam set, and add a slight nutty flavour.
Over the last two days we have made two batches of plum jam, a batch of plum chutney, crab apple and rhubarb jam, crab apple curd, and frozen the residue of the fruit. We have run out of jars after this home harvest.
Our next plan is to use up the excess courgettes by using them to make curry for the freezer. Need to get some carrots, onion and cauliflower - and a trip to the shop for chick peas.


Robert said...

It all looks wonderful. Don't scoff all the jam. Next time we come I will order a high tea for lunch! Are you going to blog about Harrison's Plantation, so I can put a link to the blog in my blog?

Paul Pursglove said...

Robert, I shall put some pots aside for you.