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Plum sauce

March 20, 2010 | Filed under Extras

If you are lucky enough to have access to a plum tree, then you’ll want to know what you can do with the excess plums after you’ve stewed them to accompany cereal for breakfast, made a Plum Crumble dessert and made more jam than you will use.

Its time to try plum sauce. You can use plum sauce instead of tomato sauce as an accompaniment to savoury dishes, such as macaroni cheese, barbecued sausages.

This recipe is from the Aunt Daisy Cookery Book No 5 (published around 1943).  The amounts have been converted from pound and ounces to grams and kilograms and this recipe is based on 1 kg plums instead of the 6lbs Aunt Daisy quoted (6 lbs equates to just under 3 kg).

In Aunt Daisy’s day when there were few refrigerators and no domestic freezers, women made their preserves in large quantities i and there was enough to last until the next season.  Today we tend to make smaller quantities more frequently.  And we can freeze excess quantities of raw fruit in the summer to make up into jam, pickles, sauces etc during the year.


1 kg red plums
1 ½ cups vinegar
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or ½ teaspoon paprika)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed (or 1 teaspoon ready crushed garlic)


  1. Put all the ingredients into a large saucepan so the pan is less than half full.
  2. Bring to the boil and boil steadily for 2 hours, uncovered. Stir frequently
  3. Strain through a sieve and pour into hot sterilised bottles.
  4. Close the bottles with a cork or screw cap.

Note: You don’t put a lid on the pan because the liquid needs to evaporate so the sauce thickens.
You do need to keep stirring it so sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. this can happen because of the amount of sugar in the recipe.




2 Responses to “Plum sauce”

  1. desrae penn on February 23rd, 2014 2:08 pm

    made this sauce, cooked it for 1 1/2 hours cos sauce got real thick! Followed recipe to the letter, not sure why it thickened so much?

  2. Jaki on October 23rd, 2017 1:31 pm

    I love this recipe! The sauce comes out nice and thick (like ketchup) and is so easy to make. Works with any stone fruit – I’ve just made a peach/nectarine/plum sauce that I can’t wait to try with pork!

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