Saturday, August 22, 2009

Damson Plum Liquor (recipe follows)

There was an ad in our local paper, from the same orchard where I got my cherries, for rambo apples and damson plums. I looked up damson plums on the internet and found they make a great jam and liquor. The rambo apples are good for pies, jelly, and drying.

I definitely wanted more apples for making apple chips. They went so fast last year and I didn't make a whole lot of them, so this time, I got a whole bushel that will be just for apple chips. The rambos were only $9 a bushel so that's a great deal! This also breaks up some of the labor of peeling hundreds of apples all at once for applesauce and chips. The apples I use for applesauce are not ready yet, so this is nice to only work on making chips.

I am intrigued by the idea of making damson plum liquor, and at 80 cents a pound, I thought it would be worth a try. I bought 25 pounds worth of plums, some for making liquor and some for jam.

I am not a big drinker. In college, I went to my fair share of parties and night clubs, and I did the whole party-hearty thing, but now, I just like the occasional wine and a swig of the "hard stuff" when I feel rough around the edges. I have always liked fruity flavors, so I enjoy sangria and margaritas and such, and I really like the strawberry wine we made last year, so I think (and hope) the damson plum liquor will be something I like.

I found 2 different recipes on the internet for damson liquor. I am trying both. They are basically the same, except one uses more plums and more sugar, but less alcohol.

Recipe 1:

1 quart of damson plums (it didn't specify, but I halved and pitted them)
1 1/2 pound of sugar
375 ml vodka or gin (I used vodka)

Combine ingredients and pour into a gallon jar. Keep lid loose for fermentation. Stir weekly for 6 to 8 weeks until sugar is dissolved. Should be ready by December.

Recipe 2:

1 pound of damson plums, pitted ( I halved them and pitted them)
1 pound of sugar
1 quart of gin or vodka (I used gin)

Combine ingredients and pour into gallon jar. Stir weekly. Should be ready in 3 months. (Didn't specify, but I'm keeping lid on this loose as well)

I'll be keeping these in a cool dark place, the heat and humidity will spoil the fruit and I don't want that to happen. Hopefully this turns out yummy and I'll let you know how it tastes.

Now, I need to get started on peeling and slicing a batch of apples for the dehydrator. If I get it in tonight, they'll be dry by morning and ready for another batch!


DJ Kirkby said...

Mmmmmm sounds nice! I've got a good one for blackberry whiskey, yummy, tastes like port.

Do you have any idea if I can use crab apples for chips?

I was surprised to read that you peel your apples for sauce. I keep the peel on mine and blend it smooth with a hand belnder before jarring.

Carol said...

I'll be interested to know how they turn out!!

C x

jenny said...

Dj-- I like chunky applesauce, which is why I peel the apples. If I make a smooth sauce, then I'd just use a food mill and the peels and seeds would stay out. I can take the cores and peelings and simmer them, then place in food mill to get every last bit of apple out, then make apple butter with the amount that's left.

I made apple chips with other varieties last year, and they tastes great, so I don't think it matters too much what kind of apple you use. I just happened to see the ad for Rambo apples and since I can do it now, I went for it. I'm sure crab apples will taste just as good as any!

Carol-- I'll post in a few months how it comes out. I also just started peach/plum wine last night! Smells lovely!

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Jenny I want to eat at your house SO BAD !! :) And holy crap you peel all of those apples !!! Dag Gummit !!! We all need to chip in and get you one of those nifty pealer deals. Or just leave the skins on like my mom used to - or do you take them off for like pestisides and stuff?

AND P.S. Congrats on your chicken egg !! Nothings better than home grown chicken eggs - MMmmmmm dark creamy yolk ! Oh heaven.

jenny said...

Lindy-- You know you are ALWAYS welcome to come here! If you ever make it up this way, that is! And holy crap you think I peel all those apples by hand?? No no no! I got one of those nifty peeler deals, but it still takes a while to peel hundreds of apples!

I never had a home grown egg before (at least not that I know of). I'm looking forward to trying these! :o)

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Oh thank goodness for the peeler! EEEEEEE!!! And you've never had a home egg!?? OH!!! You're in for SUCH a treat! They are Waaayy different! Ok so they aren't pink with polkadots but they taste So much .... MORE. The yolk will be darker and a little stronger, but in a wonderful creamy way. And so natural and healthy!

Optix said...

Great article.
Actually there is no fermentation taking place. The recipe is actually an infusion, and made just the same way as sloe gin (a very popular and tasty drink popular in my homecountry of England.
We are going to make some Damson Gin tonight since we just picked 35lbs of plums from the tree that overhangs our deck.
You will actually find it better if you stir shake the container at the start until it completely dissolves the sugar.
Don't forget to eat the plums too !

jenny said...

Optix-- thanks for the clarification! I tried to find more info on what to do with the plums.. how long do I leave the plums in for? When do I strain them out.. in 3 months or??

I did dissolve the sugar at the start, and it smells so good! Can't wait to try it! :o)

Optix said...

I plan on leaving my plums in til the last minute. Since I made it two nights ago , I am going to leave the plums in for about 4 months, then strain the plums, and pour the gin into another container.
KEEP THE PLUMS they will be taty t have in a desert or something.
You could leave them in as long as possible but they will mature the longer you leave them in :)

Optix said...

About to make another batch. The firt batch we made was fanatastic.
The Gin I used was Gordons, since it is half the price of Tanguray. It works fine. If you use any gin too cheap, you will get a nasty headache.

Manuka Honey said...

For DJ Kirby, would be very interested in your recipe for Blackberry Whiskey please.

Anonymous said...

For many years, I have made a recipe for PLUM CORDIAL I got from two elderly brothers in Virginia. It is really great! Almost like those given.
1 quart damson plums
1 pound sugar (2 cups)
1 fifth (now 750ml) vodka (I prefer 100 proof - it extracts more flavor and color from the plums))
Put in a sealed jar (it doesn't ferment with the vodka in there!), store in a cool dark place, and it's ready around the Christmas holidays. For the first days, a little swirling is necessary to get the sugar all dissolved. The alcohol extracts the flavor and color from the plums. DON'T slice or pit them! You'll compromise the clarity of the finished cordial. PS - the shriveled plums are good to eat (especially with ice cream) when the cordial is poured off.