I’d completely forgotten that I must record this recipe for future years! It’s sadly a bit late for this year, as the plums are all over. The huge amount of spices produce a dipping sauce, which I hoped would be like Hoisin – hence the name – but is somehow lighter and sharper (may add more dark sugar next year!).
3 lb plums, weight when stoned (pitted)
1 lb onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 pt malt vinegar
12 oz sultanas
1 lb dark brown sugar
salt and pepper
Spices: 3 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns, 1 small dried chilli, 12 star anise, 1 stick cinnamon, 1 tbsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp dried ginger. Grind very fine in a spice grinder/pestle and mortar.
- Put everything but the sugar and vinegar into a large pan. Add half the vinegar. Simmer until soft.
- Cool slightly, then liquidise until very smooth.
- Add the remaining vinegar, and the sugar. Bring to the boil slowly, then simmer for about 10 minutes. Pour into sterilised bottles and seal. Watch out – it may thicken too much to get OUT of the bottles! Not a problem – if too thick, just store in wide-necked jars. (You can always add hot water/soy sauce when serving to make a dipping sauce – which is what we’re aiming at.)