- Plums, 2 pounds
- Colander, small saucepan
- Sugar, variable
- Saucepan, no cover
- Fresh ginger root, grated, 2 teaspoons
- Garlic, 1 clove, pureed
- Soy sauce, 2 tablespoons
- Pitting the plums is the time-consuming part of the procedure. Try to organize a party to pit the plums. (The people who brought the plums will probably not be players. If they liked to pit plums, they would not have brought them.)
- Do not skin plums, as the skins are needed to color the sauce deep-purple.
- Cut each plum with a knife and remove pit as best you can. Let some pulp remain on the pit, as it will be retrieved later.
- Heat pits with clinging pulp in a sauce pan. In a few minutes the pulp will loosen. Place pits in a colander over a bowl and stir to squeeze pulp through.
- Place all pulp, juice, and skin in a saucepan. From 2 pounds of plums you will have about 3 cups, nearly the same as the end quantity of sauce.
- Bring to simmer. Taste and start adding sugar. How much depends entirely on how tart the plums are. If plums are tart, start with 1 cup of sugar. Taste as you go along and stir in more as desired. As this is a meat sauce, not a jam, a little tartness is desirable for many persons.
- After 30 to 40 minutes, puree the mixture in the food processor. Return to heat and continue simmering.
- Sauce is done when it is thick. Just how thick is a matter of individual preference. It should be at least thicker than a thick soup. Toward the end keep heat low and stir often to avoid burning sauce on the bottom of the pan.
- When sauce is done, add garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. Suggested quantities are given, but are really a matter of taste.
- Too much soy will darken the sauce, causing it to lose its purple hue.
- If you are in a hurry, thicken with cornstarch or arrowroot. However, it is better to let sauce thicken by itself in cooking to concentrate flavor.
- If you make this sauce, you have nearly made plum jam.
- To make jam, omit the garlic, add a little more sugar, and cook somewhat longer.
To pit plums
To make sauce, 1 hour