1 kilogram ripe black or red plums
1 cup blackberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup water
1 cup caster sugar
zest of 1 orange
2 thin slices fresh ginger
¼ teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ginger
pinch of ground cardamom
Halve and stone the plums. Chop roughly and place in a large saucepan with the blackberries, water and sugar. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for 30 minutes until the fruit is very soft. Tip the fruit and juice into a medium fine sieve set over a bowl, and use the back of a spoon to push it through, discarding the seeds and ginger. Tip into a large saucepan and stir in the spices. Cook over a very low heat (a simmer mat is perfect for long, slow cooking) for 2–2 ¼ hours, stirring frequently to prevent it catching on the base of the pan, until the paste is very thick. The mixture will have reduced in volume by ¾. Transfer to jars or dishes, cool then cover and store in the refrigerator.
Makes about 1½ cups
Cook’s tip: We served the paste with an aged Cheddar and a creamy sheep’s milk cheese called ‘Brebille Monbrenac’.