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    Spiced plum ketchup

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    Spiced plum ketchup

    • Vegan
    • Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus cooling
    • Cooking time: 50 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes, plus cooling

    Makes: about 600ml


    1.2kg red or purple plums, cut into chunks
    2 small red onions, chopped
    2 fat cloves garlic, finely chopped
    5cm piece fresh root ginger, finely chopped
    pinch chilli flakes
    1 small cinnamon stick
    3 allspice berries
    1-2 star anise
    1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns (optional)
    250g light brown soft or golden caster sugar
    225ml cider or white wine vinegar
    2 tsp soy sauce
    ½ lime, juice


    1. Put the plum chunks into a large pan. Add the onion, garlic and ginger plus the spices, sugar and vinegar; mix to combine. Place the pan over a low-medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar, then continue to cook steadily for about 40 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the fruit is very tender and the mixture thickened. Meanwhile, sterilise a couple of bottles or jars according to the instructions below.

    2. Push the mixture through a sieve to remove the spices and plum skins. Quickly wash the pan, return the strained sauce to it and continue to cook for a further 6-8 minutes, until thickened to the consistency of tomato ketchup. Taste and add the soy sauce and the lime juice. Spoon into a jug and pour into the sterilised bottles. Screw on the lids and leave until cold before labelling and storing for up to 6 weeks. 


    Heat the oven to 160˚C, gas mark 3. Wash the jars and their lids in hot, soapy water, rinse and drain. Put the jars on a baking tray and heat in the oven for 15 minutes to sterilise. You want them to be warm when filling, so don’t do this too far ahead. If your jars or lids have rubber seals, remove these and simmer them in a pan of water for 10 minutes instead (the dry heat of an oven will crack rubber seals). Turn off the heat, cover and leave until ready to use.

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose & Partners Food, October 2018 issue. Download the Waitrose & Partners Food app for the full issue


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