In Poland, you’ll find thick, concentrated fruit jams or preserves called powidła; they can be made from plums (in Poland, they use a variety called s´liwki We˛gierki), as in this recipe, or from cherries or blackberries. Plum butter is often used in Polish recipes. For instance, you’ll see it as a filling in gingerbread cake or as a filling for Polish doughnuts, or paczki. Only two ingredients are required, plums and sugar: the trick is to cook the plums over a very low heat for a very long time until you have a thick paste. Once you have a jar of this to hand, you can also use it to sweeten savoury recipes, such as Bigos (see here), or the sauce that accompanies the duck breasts on see here. At breakfast, or for elevenses, try powidła with cream cheese on rye bread.
- Yield: 2 jars
- 4 lb 8 oz (2 kg) very ripe purple plums
- 3½ oz ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- Wash the plums, and halve and stone them. Put them into a large pan over a very low heat and cook for 20–30 minutes, or until they are very soft and falling apart.
- Rub the plums through a sieve set over a bowl.
- Return the plum purée to the pan and stir in the sugar. Bring the mixture to the boil and then reduce the heat to very low. Cook for about 1–1½ hours, stirring regularly so that the mixture doesn’t burn. It will become dark purple and so thick that a spoon will stand upright.
- Leave the plum butter to cool. While it is cooling, sterilize your jars. Fill the jars with the plum butter and seal. It will keep for up to 3 weeks in the fridge.