Red-wine honey plum sauce

August  3, 2010
Author Notes

Lynne Rossetto Casper's book The Italian Country Kitchen has a wonderful recipe for soft plum jam that was my inspiration for cooking the plums in red wine. There are many ways to use this sauce, but my favorite is to layer it with sliced fresh peaches, blackberries, and creme fraiche, or mascarpone cheese lightened with a little half and half. - AppleAnnie —AppleAnnie

Test Kitchen Notes

It's Christmas in the summer! The ruby red color and subtly-spiced flavor of the plums are reminiscent of the holidays. I made these with a tasty cinnamon-pear balsamic vinegar and substituted vanilla rum for the amaretto. Thanks to AppleAnnie for the tip about letting it sit overnight. The plums really pick up the flavor of the sauce, and were a great addition to my morning yogurt. – frozenfoodie —The Editors

  • Serves 2-3 cups
  • 2 cups fresh plums (I used 20 small Methley red plums)
  • 1 cup red wine (inexpensive cabernet sauvignon or Beaujolais)
  • 2 tablespoons fragrant honey, such as lavender honey or lavender-infused honey
  • 1/2 cup turbinado or light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fine balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • seeds from 3-5 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon Amaretto
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
In This Recipe
  1. Mix honey, sugars, and red wine in saucepan and heat until wine is bubbling and everything is completely dissolved.
  2. Cut plums in half over the pot (to catch all the juice) , adding the plums to the pot while removing the pits. (I cut my golf-ball size plums in half with a cooking shears, and snipped out around the pit, for a fairly easy job of pitting.)
  3. Add the cinnamon, cardamom and cook over medium heat until the plums have softened. Remove plums from the pan using a slotted spoon. Add the balsamic vinegar to the liquid in the pan. (I used Antonia James’ strawberry balsamic which I made in late spring.)
  4. Measure the cornstarch into a small bowl and slowly stir in about ½ cup of the hot liquid, whisking to quickly dissolve the cornstarch. Add more of the hot liquid if needed to get the cornstarch slurry to a pourable consistency.
  5. Dump the slurry into the pot, whisking steadily until the sauce thickens and clears. Return the reserved plums to the sauce, and cook for a few more minutes for additional thickening.
  6. Cool for 15 minutes. Stir in the Amaretto and vanilla. Refrigerate.
  7. Enjoy with yogurt, ice cream, in a “fool” with whipped cream or ricotta cheese, and also use it in a parfait layered with fresh fruit (peaches, nectarines, blackberries) and crème fraiche or mascarpone.
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