One tomato, two tomato
One tomato, two tomato
The Brits are crazy about fruit cheeses. Most of the recipes you’ll find are from England, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Americans are most familiar with quince paste, which is also popular in Europe and South America, although even that is rather exotic in the USA. It’s called “cheese” because you can slice it due to its hard-set consistency. I’ve wanted to make it for quite some time, so after a lot of research and the appearance of Damson plums at my local co-op, I cooked up a batch.
Damson Plum Cheese
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Damson plums are lovely little fruits with a blue black skin and green flesh. I also added the zest and juice of Meyer lemons to give the cheese more acid and body. The basic technique is similar to making jam, but you do not add pectin and the fruit is cooked until it’s almost a candy.
Damson Plum Cheese with Meyer Lemon Recipe
By Tammy Kimbler
2 lbs Damson or other plums
2 Meyer lemons
1 cup water
1.5 lbs sugar
4 straight sided, widemouth pint jars or 8-4 oz jars
Seed and roughly chopped the fruit. Add to a heavy, non-reactive pot along with Meyer lemon zest, juice and water. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, sterilize the jars for 10 minutes in boiling water.
Puree the fruit in a blender until smooth. Return to the pot and add the sugar. Bring to a boil, then simmer for up to 1 hour, stirring often. When you can run a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan and briefly see the metal, it's done. The mixture may reduce by as much as half and be quite thick. The goal is to produce a hard-set jam that stands up straight when un-molded. It’s much stiffer than regular pectin-set jam.
Pour jam into jars, wipe rims well with a damp towel, and top with hot ring top lids. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath for pints or 5 minutes for 4 oz jars.
When ready to unmold for serving, dip the jar in hot water for a minute, then run a thin spatula around the outside of the jar. Invert and serve whole on a cheese tray, or slice and compose. I ate it with well aged gouda, which was fantastic. I’ve also seen it cut into cubes and tossed with powdered sugar as a jellied fruit. This sounds like a good treat for the holidays.
Known to many for my incredible ability to organize, I tackle gardening and life with equal verve. Obsessive, is that a bad thing?