Plums are fruits which have a soft and juicy pulp and come in many varieties. One should be careful to choose plums without defects like disease, insects or damage. The ripe ones can be identified by feeling the plum and pressing it slightly with the thumb. The color of the plums varies depending on the cultivar like yellow, red, blue or green. This fruit is especially sought after during Christmas for turning out the delicious treat of sugar plums.
The old recipe dating back to 17th century will require the plums to be harvested and poached in sugar syrup. This has to be left to stand for many days and the process has to be repeated in order to have the plums fully saturated. Sugar acts as a preservative and keeps the plums in good edible condition for a year or more when stored in air-tight containers. The saturated plums will have to be dried before storing them.
The ingredients required to get started are plums and sugar granules. Take 1 pound of ripe and fresh plums. Wash and halve them to remove pits. Take an enamel or glass pan and spread sugar for almost half inch height. The pan chosen should be wide and big enough to accommodate one pound of plums. Place a layer of plum with the cut side facing downwards. Layer this on top with more sugar so as to cover the plums completely. Place the pan over low heat and cook on simmer to dissolve the sugar. Remove it and keep aside until it gets cool. Let the plum stand and soak in all the sugar for 3 days. One can place a wire basket or a dish on top of the plum in order to keep it soaked fully in the syrup.
Later, drain out the excess syrup and reheat the pulp on low heat. Poach the pulp for about a minute and place the pan aside. Let the pulp soak in the syrup for another 3 days. And continue the same process of reheating and poaching again. In the fourth and final step, reheat the pulp by adding one cup of sugar. Cook on simmer for 5 minutes and then separate it from any excess syrup by rinsing in cool running water. Spread the plums on a wire rack and dry in a dehydrator or warm oven. Dredge sugar granules onto the dry plums and your sugar plums are ready.
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TLC: Homemade Sugar Plums