Delectable little plums poached with vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves in the pressure cooker, ready in just 15 minutes. This recipe can be used to serve warm on top of a fruit cobbler or cake, mixed with yogurt or eaten as is!
I’ve had the strongest urge to poach things lately. Eggs, meat, fruit. And actually it’s not just poaching, but also braising, steaming, stewing. Yes those are different things. Wanna know why? I know you do. Because I gots me a pressure cooker, that’s why! Woop woop. My very first kitchen appliance investment! And I already buy a lot of different kitchen items, stocking our kitchen pretty well with colorful-looking mugs, wine glasses, little jars for our spices (but of course I did), a julienne peeler, a measuring cup, cake pans, baking dishes, knives… I’m kind of the only person to use most of that stuff, but I know the roommates are happy to have those things on hand when they need them.
The pressure cooker didn’t cost much, about 60 Brazilian reais (20 euros), and originally I bought it because I’ve been making bone broth. It’s become a morning ritual for me to sip on a warm mug of bone broth and the benefits for my impaired digestion have been hallelujah-amazing. BUT: since we have a gas stove top, it started becoming problematic to use up half the gas tank (and keep the gas on for 16+ hours) just to make a weekly batch of bone broth. My roommates were very cool about it. I mean, I used up all our gas, monopolized our only decent pot for practically two days, and stunk up the entire bottom floor of the house (bone broth is tasty but I’ll admit it’s not the friendliest of kitchen smells when you’re making it). So I went out and bought myself a modest little 7L pressure cooker. It’s been love at first sight. My bone broth gets done in 1 hour now, and that’s not all. I can make braised beef ribs in 45 minutes, chili in less than half an hour and adorable little fruit preserves in 15 tops! Someone high-five me now!
I found tiny little plums at the market and thought they’d be a perfect guinea pig to try making fruit preserves with the pressure cooker. I love plums. Just the name is nice to say. With a tad of delectable spices, a drop of honey and a vanilla bean pod in there, it smelled like heaven (and Christmas). Unfortunately this time there was nobody there to enjoy it, for once that I wasn’t making the place smell like meaty bone broth. Such a shame.
I served these with an upside-down plum cake that I made for a dinner party, but it’s such a versatile recipe. You can top some yogurt and granola with these, blend them into a delicious plum butter to spread over bread, eat with goat cheese or keep them in an airtight sealed container in the fridge and eat alone like you would apple sauce or poached pears,…. this is one of those convenient recipes that can either be the main event or an accessory for another dish.
1 1/2 lb of fresh plums (about 15 small ones)
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded (or substitute with pure vanilla extract)
1 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
3 cardamom pods
2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 cup of water
This recipe calls for a pressure cooker. If you don’t have one, you can use a regular pot and simmer the ingredients for one hour, then follow steps 5 and 6 of the instructions.
1. Halve the plums and remove the pit. Place in the bottom of the pressure cooker.
2. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Gently scrape the seeds out of each halve with the blade of a small knife and reserve (you can add them to your next baked good).
3. Add the water to the pressure cooker, the vanilla pod halves, the honey and spices. Seal the pot and bring to pressure on high heat. Once pressure is at maximum, turn heat down to medium and cook for 15 minutes on high pressure.
4. Turn the heat off and let the pressure release naturally.
5. Uncover, remove the plums and reduce the remaining liquid on high heat by half.
6. Store the plums with the liquid in an airtight glass jar in the fridge or serve warm over cake, pudding, applesauce, yogurt…. many options really!
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