[Sca-cooks] Round one - Plum Butter

ranvaig at columbus.rr.com ranvaig at columbus.rr.com
Tue Sep 18 18:39:59 PDT 2007

I started looking at this recipe from translating the word "Latwergen" which means a spiced fruit syrup or puree.    The word is related to "electuary", a medicinal paste mixed with jam or syrup for oral consumption. 

Rumpolt calls this Plum Confect, but the recipe calls for cherries.  It could be a typo, but I used plums, which were cheaper.  Plums that you cook down and keep in a jar sounds like plum butter to me. I found a very similar modern recipe and changed the spices to the ones called in Rumpolt.

The recipe is called a Confect, but the ones after is say "Du magst auch wohl ein solche Latwerge machen von Hollunderbeer" "You might also make such a Latwerge from elderberries", or  from sloes, or apples.

There is another reference to Latwergen in Von Spicen, that is a candy that you roll out and cut into pieces.

I cut the plums in half, removed the stone, and cooked the plums until soft.   I thought the texture would be better without the skins, so I peeled them, processed in the food processor.  There were still visible pieces of skin, so I ran it though a sieve.  A food mill would be even better but it only took half an hour to peel and puree the plums.   It looked pretty much like pink applesauce.

So far so good.  But I had added too much water, I was afraid it would boil off and burn, but I think it would have been fine.  The puree tasted good but was very thin.  And it filled the slow cooker to the top.  I let it cook down until there was room to add the sugar and it was back to the top.

It was still very thin.  By now it had been cooking 24 hours, and tasted decidedly like prunes... not quite what I intended.  And was still pretty thin.

So it cooked some more, just an inch down from the top.  Now it was still quite thin, but down right black... and tasted like burned prunes.  Yechhh.

I washed it down the drain and will try again tomorrow with a new batch of plums.  I'm going to set up a steamer, I think, and no added water at all.  And try a slow oven to reduce the puree.  I don't think the slow cooker had enough surface area.  I may even get a food mill, which is what this recipe really needs.  Any other suggestions?


Pflaumen Confect - Plum butter

6 lb plums, 1 c water,  6 c. cane sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground cloves.
Wash the plums, cut in half and remove the stones.  Cook until the fruit is soft, about an hour. Press through a food mill or sieve to puree and remove the skins.  Or you can leave the skins on and puree in a food processor.  Wild plums have a bitter skin that should be removed. Measure the puree and add an equal amount of sugar and the spices.  
Cook in a crock pot on low for 8 hours, uncover and cook for another hour until very thick.  When you put a spoonful on a plate, no water should separate out.

Rumpolt Confect 23. Ungarische Pflaumen Confect / es sei weiß oder braun. Nimm die sauren Weichesl / und thu die Stengel darvon / setz sie in einem Kessel auf dz Feuwer oder Kolen / und laß auf sieden / denn sie geben von sich selbst Saft genug. Wenn sie kalt sein / so streich sie durch ein Härin Tuch / thu sie in ein uberzindten Fischkessel / und setz auf Kolen / laß sieden / und rürs umb / daß nicht anbrennet. Und wenns halb eingesotten ist / so nimm gestossenen Zimt und Nelken darunter / machs wohl füß mit Zucker / und laß darmit sieden / biß wohl dick / setz hinweg / und laß kalt werden / so kanstu es aufheben / so helt sichs ein Jar oder zwei.

Hungarian Plum Preserves/ be it white or brown.  Take the sour cherries/ and take the stems from it/ set them in a kettle over the fire or coals/ and let simmer/ until they give from themselves enough juice.  When it is cold then strain it through a hair cloth/ put them in a tinned fishkettle/ and set on coals/ let simmer/ and stir up/ that it doesn't burn.  And when it is half cooked/ then take a little ground cinnamon and cloves in it/ make well sweet with sugar/ and let simmer together/ until it well thickened/ take away/ and let cool/ so you can lift it/ and keep it in a jar or two.

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