Thursday, February 13, 2020

Recipe for 'Plummes in Syrop' from 'A Treasurie of Commodius Conceits and Hidden Secrets'

This recipe is an absolute ripper and would be part of the menu for my dream feast. It is super simple to prepare, and decadently delicious.

Plummes condict in Syrrope Chapter. xv.
Take halfe a pounde of Suger,
halfe a pint of Rose water and
a pinte of fayre Rayne water,
or of some other distilled water,
seeth ye Suger & ye two waters vpō
a softe fyre of coles, till ye one halfe
be consumed: thē take it frō ye fire &
when it leaueth boylīg, put therin
halfe a pound of ripe Damazines,
or other plummes, & set it agayne
on the embers, & kepe it in the lyke
heate tyll the plummes be softe by
the space of an howre if neede bee,
then put into it some cloues brused
and when it is coulde keepe it in a
Glasse, or in an earthen or Gally∣potte,
the stronger the Syrrope
is with Suger, the better it wyll
Some put into the Syrroup Sinimon, Saunders, Nutmegges.
From - The Treasurie of Commodious Conceits, & Hidden Secrets: And May be Called, the Huswiues Closet, of Healthfull Prouision. Mete and Necessarie for the Profitable Vse of All Estates Both Men and Women: and Also Pleasaunt for Recreation, with a Necessary Table of All Things Herein Contayned. Gathered Out of Sundrye Experiments Lately Practised by Men of Great Knowledge. By John Partridge, 1573. Available at;view=fulltext

My recipe is slightly different as damsons (plums) were not in season and I could not get sandalwood ('sanders'). I thought wine would be a nice alternative to the water and rosewater base in the original.

500g pitted prunes
500ml red wine (I used a lovely cabernet merlot)
1/4 tsp rosewater essence
approx. 300g sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg and cinnamon
5 cloves

This is one of those annoying recipes where the amounts are just guidelines and the ingredients are 'to taste'. The amount of sugar depends on what sort of wine it is and how sweet it is. I opted for very light spices and rosewater because the wine was perfect on it's own. I put the wine and sugar and spices into a small saucepan and warmed them so that the sugar dissolved. I added the prunes and then kept the mixture cooking gently so that the wine reduced and became syrupy. Don't let it all get too hot or it will taste burnt.

Let the mixture cool in the saucepan. I made mine in advance and kept it in the fridge overnight. I gently reheated it and served it warm. Because it is only gently heated, I wasn't sure if all the alcohol would cook off, so I kept this away from the kids just in case.

I tried this with cream on the side and also with a good quality vanilla bean ice cream. If you like rich, sweet desserts, I think you will enjoy this.

I did plan to try a redaction closer to the original version, but I honestly haven't made the time because my version is just so nice!

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