Molly’s Plum Sauce

Growing up it never occurred to me that not everyone had something different for dinner every night of the week and rarely the same thing twice in a month. My mother could cook anything and we had everything from homemade shrimp toast to lasagna. She gave me a love of all foods and a highly developed palate. I made up my first recipe at the age of eight for stuffed mushrooms. Not too long after that she ended up hurt bad enough that I had to cook all the meals for around a month while her foot healed form a cat bite. She died nearly six months ago now and I was down to the last tablespoon of her famous plum sauce. I don’t remember when she first started making the plum sauce but for as long as I can remember we always had it with her homemade egg rolls and wontons. My sons put it on everything so not having any around is not an option. Lucky for me that she had given me the recipe long before she got really ill. My mother cooks like I do which is you just sort of toss stuff in until it works so this recipe is not guaranteed to taste just like hers but it will be some of the best plum sauce you have ever had. She always bottled hers in old Grolsch bottles but you can just but it into a canning jar and process them for 10 minutes. I am passing this on to you to keep her memory and love of good food and cooking alive. By the way this is easily doubled to make big batches so you can give some away.

You will need:

2- 12 ounce jars of plum preserves or plum jam (Mom always used Bama brand)

1-12 ounce jar of apricot preserves

3 tablespoons vinegar

3 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons dry sherry or rice wine (I used sherry and so did she)

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

1 small onion

1 seeded red bell pepper

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 clove of garlic

1 teaspoon of five spice powder (crushed fennel seeds, cayenne or Sichuan pepper, powdered cloves, cinnamon, star anise)

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

½ teaspoon sesame oil


Puree the red bell pepper, garlic, and onion together. Add all the ingredients into a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and allow the sauce to reduce about ¼ of the way. Once it gets down 2 inches lower than the original height you are probably good. Be sure and taste test it to see if you like the flavor. Mom always said you can add ¼ cup of ketchup if you think it needs it. Place into clean jars or bottles. Allow it to sit for a week before using it so that the flavors meld better.



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