[Sca-cooks] Round one - Plum Butter

K C Francis katiracook at hotmail.com
Thu Sep 20 15:44:51 PDT 2007

I just made a recipe called Plum Pudding with Pears.  Plums cooked down in 
red wine, strained of skin and pits, thickened with rice flower and seasoned 
with sugar and spices.  It was served at a feast and my batch was just as 
good.  It was decorated with cutouts from thin slices of ripe pear.  We have 
since decided it is excellent on french toast, spread on crisp wafers, and 
would be wonderful spooned over ice cream.  The consistancy is quite like 
apple butter, the thick homemade kind, not the runny store bought stuff.

Here is what was posted on West-Cooks:
Plum Pudding with Pears
Page 24-25 .Ciiij. Bolas.

Take fair plums, wash them clean, & in wine boil them that they be
but scalded byweese [in a small amount of wine?], & boil them all to
pulp, & draw them through a strainer, & add to them rice flour, &
make it thick, & do it to the fire, & boil it; take it off & add to
it white sugar, ginger, cloves, maces, canel & stir it well together;
then take good pears & seethe them well with the stalk & set them to
cool & pare them clean, and pick out the cores; then take dates and
wash them clean, and pick out the stones, & fill them with white
powder: then take the stalk of the pears, take the Plum-Pudding & ley
iii slices in a dish, & set the pears there in.

Ingredients for plum pudding:

13 small plums with seeds

2 cups red wine (Red Beaijolais)

1/2 cup rice flour

1 cup sugar – may need less if using a sweeter wine

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoons Cloves

1/8 teaspoons Mace

1 teaspoons Cinnamon

Ingredients for non-pudding garnishes:

pears, cut into fanciful shapes
Scully's Fine spice powder *


Simmer whole plums in wine until they break down. Strain the pulp. I
ended up with about 4 cups of plum sauce. Add the rice flour and cook
until thick. Add sugar and spices.

When it was hot/warm the spices were not as prevalent. As it cooled
they were stronger. If we are serving this warm we may want to add
more spice.

To serve, arrange pear shapes on top and sprinkly with a small amount
of spice powder.

* Fine Spice Powder:
3 tablespoons ground ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon grains of paradise
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons sugar

(from Early French Cookery; D.E Scully and T. Scully)

Plum pudding redaction: Lady Anna Serre
The plum pudding was taken from
_Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books (1430-1450)_, Thomas
Austin, editor., Early English Text Society, Oxford University
Press, 1964

>From: ranvaig at columbus.rr.com
>Reply-To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
>To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org
>Subject: [Sca-cooks] Round one - Plum Butter
>Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2007 21:39:59 -0400
>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 
>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 
>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 
>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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