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A Quiet Day in the Mountains of Abruzzo: The Plum Diaries, part 1 -Making Plum Marmalade

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Nothing is quite as relaxing as a spending a day plucking plums from their respective trees…as the weather has been filled with a strong summer sun mixed in with summer rain and ‘temporale’ the plums are ripe and so ready for harvesting..that is all except the forelorn tree in the back of the farm..they are the last ones to get the sun’s rays…. the ones we have been waiting for …. Filled with plums known as  Susino Regina Claudia..Susino means Plum..but Regina Claudia means queen Claudia the wife of Francis I…. and this plum which is a very old one was named after her..these plums  are known for being juicy and make a great marmalade..

Oh well, will have to wait..the yellow susine will be the first..that’s OK they are as sweet as apricots..

fresh plums susine

So for now we are harvesting the susine which are the yellow plums local to Abruzzo and also known as Italian plums in the USA.. so sweet their flesh tastes almost like apricot..great in recipes that call for  apricots.  Then there is the tree with the small prune style plums…small and sweet..

susine tree 2

Oh well looks like I will be making marmalade till wee hours of morning tonight…and tasting in between…

 

Here is a great recipe for plum  or susine marmalade ..easy.takes a bit of time.. you can use this marmalade in crostata and topping for desserts and ice cream, pancakes…even use as a topping for oatmeal or yogurt.

This is an easy recipe and way to transform those plums into ‘magic elixirs’ of flavors for your desserts, breakfast, even as a side dish to accompany Thanksgiving turkey..

2 pounds of plums (or susine)-washed, pitted and cut into small pieces

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 lemon

1 apple peeled and cut into small pieces

 

Place cut plums and apple in a large bowl, squeeze juice of one lemon on top, mix gently.Add in sugar and mix, place bowl in refrigerator overnight. Then place all into a large pot and cook over medium high heat for approximately one hour or more, until they are a dense consistency and most liquid has evaporated. While still boiling hot, place plums in sterilized jars, fasten lids tightly, place jars upside down to cool. Leave that way for 24 hours and store in cool, dry place. Once opened, marmalade has to be refrigerated

 

**See you at Festa Italiana in Seattle Washington on Sept 28 and 29th

 

For more recipes and more culinary travel stories get your copy of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking:Holidays and Special Occasions-2nd edition

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