Margaret Fulton’s Plum Sauce Recipe


  • 1kg bright red plums, stoned and chopped
  • 175g onions, finely sliced
  • 2 fresh red chillies, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tblspn salt
  • 2.5 cups spiced vinegar*
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1 small piece root ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
  • *Spiced vinegar is Margaret’s recipe, and involves boiling up some vinegar with some pickling spices then straining it. I don’t bother with this; rather, I add some pickling spices to the allspice/ginger mix (see below).


Put the plums, onions, chillies and salt and half the vinegar into a pan. Place the allspice berries, ginger root and pickling spices onto a square of muslin, tie it up tightly into a bag and add to the pan. Simmer for 30 minutes until the fruit has softened and begun to break down. Margaret says to remove the muslin bag at this point, but I don’t, as I reckon the longer the sauce cooks with the spices, the tastier it will be.

Plum sauceSieve the sauce (or use a moulie if you have one) and return to the pan. (I neither sieved nor moulied, as the skins had broken down so much, they were barely evident.) Add the sugar, remaining vinegar and cinnamon, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer until thickened – about an hour – and then pour into hot sterilised bottles and seal. One hint – the longer you leave this in the bottle before eating, the better it will be. (We used some of the sauce as a marinade for BBQ pork, with some lime juice and Tabasco, and it was delicious.)

Shaftesbury Plum Sauce, thanks to our Satsuma Plum tree and Margaret Fulton.
Shaftesbury Plum Sauce, thanks to our little Satsuma Plum tree and Margaret Fulton.

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