Spiced Plum Jam & Plum Chutney, perfect for cheese and charcuterie boards

It feels like the summer is coming to an end. The nights are drawing in and we’ve had to put on jumpers and boots on a couple of times already… but we still have one more summer pleasure to enjoy: foraging for the abundant wild fruit that is all around our countryside at this time of the year.

20150807_130707 20150807_130020foraging girlie foraging buffLast year we had a great crop of wild blackberries and damsons which gave us some fabulous jam and Damson infused Gin that lasted well into this year’s spring… but now that supplies have long been depleted we look forward  to filling up our cupboards with some ‘trapped’ summer flavours once more.

We’ve had excellent luck so far with a few wild plum trees in Chris’ parent’s house and the kids and I have been busy picking as much as we can!

My childhood home had many plum trees and I have vivid memories of the changes happening to the trees over the course of the year… from the gorgeous white and pink blossom , to the anticipation of the early plums which my cousins and I still ate green until we got stomach aches!… to the time of plenty, when we would watch the birds get their fill of the fallen fruit because we simply couldn’t face eating any more.

DSC01576 cheeseThis year I wanted to try to make my jams very ‘spicy’ and of a jelly-like consistency with cheeseboards in mind… and I also wanted to try to make Chutneys for the first time. Chutneys are fruit and/or vegetable preserves of Indian origin, which are very much like jams but also include vinegar, herbs and spices.

Spicy fruit jams work really well when combined with strong cheeses (like this fabulous aged Manchego we brought back from Spain) … and Chutneys make a divine combination with hams … so they both go extremely well in out Friday night charcuterie board…

The 2 recipes below are very simple to make and I promise you that the effort will pay off many times over the course of next year!

cheese board with chutney

Spiced Plum Jam
Author: Fair Trade Living
Prep time:
Cook time:
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Serves: around 6 jars
A very simple Spiced Plum Jam recipe.
  • 1500 gr of plums (weighed after the stones have been removed)
  • 1500 gr of jam sugar (or normal sugar plus a sachet of pectin)
  • A knob of butter
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 teaspoons of mixed spices
  • 2 star aniseed
  1. De-stone all the plums.
  2. Place a plate in the freezer
  3. Place the plums on a heavy pan on a medium heat covered with a lid
  4. Mix every few minutes until the juices are released and the fruit is soft (approximately 15 minutes)
  5. Add the sugar, butter and spices and cook oh a high heat, stirring frequently for around 45 minutes or so
  6. Remove some of the jam ‘scum’ that appears on top
  7. Once the edges of the pot start to look sticky,test if you’ve reached the setting point by placing a bit of the mixture on plate you placed in the freezer
  8. If the jam is ready it will very quickly harden into a dense jelly
  9. To sterilise your jars, heat your oven to around 200C and place the jars in for around 15 minutes
  10. While the jars are in the oven, place the lids in a pot of boiling water and boil for the same amount of time
  11. When the jam is ready fill the jars, leave to cool and then label
Spiced Plum Chutney
Cuisine: Indian
Author: Fair Trade Living
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: About 3 jars
East Plum Chutney recipe, perfect for your charcuterie board
  • 450 gr plums (de stoned)
  • 180 gr caster sugar
  • 120 ml cider vinegar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star aniseed
  • A few cardamom pods
  1. Place the sugar in a heavy pan until it dissolves
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the plums are tender and the liquid is thick and syrupy
  4. Cool and then place in sterilised jars