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Plum Butter with Exotic Spices


A versatile fruit butter for use on toast, as a cake or cookie filling,  a go-to appetizer topping (below), or on grilled meats like lamb or pork.  Keep a jar in the fridge for when guests drop by unexpectedly; add a dollop or two to a small wheel of brie before warming in the oven.  We first tried this recipe with golden plums which made gorgeous copper-coloured butter, but red or purple plums each offer their own unique characteristics, not the least of which is their dark ruby colour. Either way, your kitchen will smell heavenly during cooking and all the next day ... at least! 
This recipe scales well, so make more or less as per the per-pound (454 gr) footnote below.

  • 5 lbs very ripe, sweet plums.
  • 2 generous cups natural sugar, or half-and-half white and golden sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 heaping teaspoons finely ground cardamom (freshly ground)
  • 1 flat teaspoon finely ground cinnamon
  • 1/2  teaspoon DM Chinese Five Spice Blend (optional)
  • Fruity extra virgin olive oil (optional, see Methodology)

Plum Butter on Appies 325x225*To make more or less of this recipe simply follow this guideline, adjusting spice to suit:  For each pound of pitted fruit, use 1/3 cup (250 ml) water, 1/3 cup (79 ml) plus 2 tablespoons (30 ml) sugar, 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon (1+ ml) ground cinnamon, pinch of Chinese Five Spice Blend (optional)

Most plum varieties will work just fine, but keep in mind that fruit with concentrated sweetness or tartness will similarly affect the sweetness or tartness of the butter.  Appie Idea: The gently spiced golden plum butter shown above is the perfect foil for sharp peccorino cheese over garlic & herb riccota on mini toasted bagel slices drizzled with apple cider reduction.

# of Servings


Cook Time (min)


Difficulty Rating


Preparation Time (min)



Halve and pit plums.  Discard pits.  Combine skin-on halves with sugar and water in a large non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil on a medium-high heat, stirring so fruit does not burn.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 45 minutes or so until skins start to curl and separate.  Stir occasionally.

Remove from heat and cool.  Liquidize in small batches using a blender or a Nutri-bullet like device.  If you are using golden plums and white sugar, the resulting liquid will look much like melted butter, with a similar consistency.  Plum Butter pre-reduction 325x225Red and purple plums create a bright pinkish red, berry smoothie-like soup (left).  

Return mixture to pot and add spices.  Whisk well to incorporate spices and simmer on very low heat for two hours or so until fruit thickens.It may appear neccessary to skim foam on occasion, but reduce the urge to discard any of that wholefood goodness. By the time the mixture had reduced down, the foam subsides and is entirely incorporated into the gorgeous butter.

Let cool in pot when done. At this point - to boost antioxidant power - you may add up to 1/2 cup fruity, extra virgin olive oil, using an upright or hand blender to incorporate. Portion plum butter into sterilized jars to store in the fridge for several weeks, or in the freezer for four to six months.  Makes 4-6 500 ml jars.

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C@H Kitchen