Since Mgeorge3 had access to so many Italian plums her craziness was also passed on to me in the form of about 10 pounds of delicious fruit! Getting produce in large quantities is a great incentive to go hog wild and try recipes you have never done before. Boonswaggle and I not only canned half plums, plum conserve and plum chutney, but we had plenty to snack on and put in our lunches for work. I am also looking forward to making some prune bread later in the year.
The Italian plum, Prunus cocomilia, is cited as native to Turkey and surrounding regions. I think it would be fascinating to know how it became associated with Italy. The fruit is recognized by the oblong shape and dark color. The trees must do well in the Seattle area because I know of a few people who have access to Italian plum trees. They are very delicious and when ripe an easy favorite to eat right off the tree. I am glad that we had the opportunity to process so many of them because it is a fruit that I can enjoy year round and not get tired of.
I got both the plum chutney and conserve recipes from my handy-dandy Ball Blue Book. I have never eaten a chutney or conserve previously and both Boonswaggle and I were curious to try them both out. A conserve is similar to jam but contains two or more fruits, nuts and raisins. The final product has a firm consistency due to long boiling periods that form at a gelling point. Chutneys (which my inner voice is always pronounced by Schmidt from New Girl are a mix of fruits and vegetables with spices and are cooked with vinegar. The flavors develop from simmering for long periods and it has spiced mix of sweet and sour flavors.
2 pounds chopped and pitted plums
3 cups sugar
1 cup chopped orange
1 cup raisins
1/3 cup thinly sliced orange peel
1 cup chopped pecans
2 quarts chopped and pitted plums
1 ½ cups brown sugar, packed
1 ½ cup raisins
¾ cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups vinegar