I really enjoy reading the blog Blue Lotus about life in Tokyo. Amy Nakazawa includes tons of pictures, and a lot of appetite-inducing information on the food and drinks of Japan. You may remember that I made brandied pears as a result of her handy guide on umeshu. Eventually, I felt compelled to find some plums and give that a try, too.
I ended up buying about 2 kilograms of plums for under $3! How great is that? I took off their stickers and plucked out their stems in the bowl above, then washed them in a little apple cider vinegar and water to remove some of the pesticides and dirt in general. Most of the produce from Deli Warehouse looks well traveled, so I like to clean them as best I can.
Then I laid them out to dry. If you are using glass jars, now would also be a great time to sterilize those in some boiling water. The drying process always takes longer than I think. I’d say to wash both the containers and fruit around the same time, and then go play a video game, watch a movie – basically, you’ll have an hour to kill.
You can geek out and weigh your ingredients like I did, but you don’t really need to. Just pop some fruit into your containers, then add some liquor, and a cup or so of sugar. I did about 1 1/3 C of sugar for each jar. It is easier if you add a little bit of liquor first, so the bottle’s about 1/3 full, because then the sugar just settles in and you don’t have to spend 5 minutes tapping out air bubbles because you put the sugar in first (like I did with my first jar).
I didn’t add as much sugar as fruit in terms of weight like Amy’s guide suggests. I only did about half as much. So in each jar, there are about 4-500 g of plums, and 200-250 g of sugar. It looked like a lot already, and my fruit was much riper than her recipe, so I figured it would even out.
You can see that the amount of sugar I added was roughly 1/3 of the jar if you just want to eyeball it.
The liquors were probably the smallest in terms of weight. I didn’t use as much vodka or brandy in each as I thought I would have. I just got Christian Brothers Brandy, and this newish vodka that starts with a U and has a bear on it (from All Star Wine in Latham).
All labeled and ready to go! Date made, type of fruit, type of liquor. I’ll shake them every so often to spread out the sugar, but for the most part I won’t see these guys again until around Christmas. Maybe Thanksgiving if I get a little impatient.