Spiced Plum and Blackberry Paste

, from Issue #39. September, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Spiced Plum and Blackberry Paste

This soft fruit paste can be served with cheese and grilled bread, or enjoy it for breakfast spread on toast with ricotta.


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’.