I meant to make plum jam. I am new to jam. Quince paste worked a treat, so I thought why not try my hand at jam? The school fete is a couple of months away, time to start sending in boxes of the stuff to do my part. There is a plum jam recipe in the Everyday Cookbook, easy peasey. And now I have plum sauce.
Possibly not enough pectin, possibly played a bit fast and loose with the recipe. I found a tip for easy removal of the plum stones by cooking them whole first in the Thermomix. It worked, but then you have to hunt through the resulting mush for plum stones and can only really be sure they are all out if you mix it all up on Speed 3 or 4 and hear the stone knocking around the bowl. I think it might be easier to just cut the plums in half and remove the stones before you start.
Follow the plum jam recipe in the Everyday Cookbook and if it turns into jam or ends up a bit more saucey you can put both to good use. Because of the cloves and cinnamon in the recipe its a nice winter pudding sauce (see next post), but also pairs nicely with duck. And if you don’t like duck? Well, I think Basil Fawlty has an answer for you.
Make some mashed potato and pumpkin in the Thermomix according to the mashed potato recipe in the Everyday Cookbook. Add extra parmesan before mashing for an extra cheesy mash. This was a hit with the children who have previously turned their nose up at mashed potato and any kind of pumpkin. I never know what they are going to love or hate. Sometimes it can be both reactions to the same thing on a different night. They keep me on my toes. Of course I would never be crazy enough to try them with duck for dinner. They are still underwhelmed by any meat that hasn’t been minced or shaped into a different form. So crunchy fish to match their cheesy mash tonight.
Back to the grownups, score the skin of two duck breasts, rub in a good amount of salt and fry skin side down in a hot pan to render and crisp the fat. Season meat side, then, once the skin is a dark golden all over, turn over to sear the meat for 2 minutes. Transfer duck to an oven pan, spoon some plum sauce over the crisp skin and place in a medium oven for 5-10 minutes depending on how pink you like your duck. Once cooked rest the meat in the oven pan for a few minutes outside the oven. Meanwhile add a couple of whole peeled cloves of garlic to the pan with rendered duck fat, perhaps add a little butter to make it all the more French. Throw in some sliced mushrooms. Add some greens halfway through cooking the mushrooms (I did asparagus, wilted spinach would do very nicely also). Spoon the mash on a plate, place the duck breast on top and scatter mushrooms and greens around in a pattern that most pleases you. Prepare to do the yumskidoodle march.