We can be grateful for a particularly prolific plum harvest this season

This year’s plum harvest has been particularly prolific and thankfully I know a few generous people who are happy to share their crop.

Locally grown plums have a great sweet, sour flavour profile that’s totally superior to imported varieties.

At the moment Victoria plums are the most readily available with damsons coming soon.

There’s only so much fruit you can use at one time so it’s a good idea to preserve any glut for future use. Plums can be frozen successfully – I usually stone them and place them in bags or plastic containers. A couple of weeks ago I found a bag of damsons in the tombola area that is my chest freezer. They were whizzed into a quick jam with equal parts sugar to fruit and cooked straight from frozen.

The stones were removed with my trusty pea scoop – a good investment for avoiding stoning plums.

For something savoury I’ve included a recipe for a spiced plum sauce that can be eaten now or placed in sterilized jam jars or bottles and stored. It’s a great accompaniment for roast pork, oily fish or game.

It is especially good with venison. Last week Baronscourt Estate Venison from Newtownstewart in Co Tyrone won a Golden Fork at the prestigious Great Taste Awards in London.

Considered the Food Oscars, the awards had a record 14,205 entries this year. Each of the 9 regions in the UK plus Ireland have a winner who’s presented with a Golden Fork. Its testament to the quality of this venison to have won this award for their Sika venison loin. While this is a prime cut, their other cheaper cuts are equally as delicious and their sausages would be worth the trip alone. The first recipe is for sausage rolls using their meat accompanied by a spiced plum sauce – seasonality at its best.

For a sweet recipe this week I’ve included one that gives you the best of both worlds – a buttery, crumbly plum and blackberry streusel that can be eaten warm from the oven or cooled and enjoyed as a traybake with a cuppa. Streusel means a crumble and it tops a pastry base with a plum and blackberry layer in between. Blackberries are starting to become available on the hedgerows and this free food is ripe for the picking. Serendipitously they work beautifully with the plums. They have a limited season so cherish, and pick, them while they’re here.

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