One of the best kind of friends to have are the friends who know people. Whether this means connections in your line of work, access to back stage, or getting you hooked up with the best hair stylist having a buddy in the know is always a plus. I'm happy to have many such people in my life who are able to educate me, connect me, and help me blossom in both work and play.
My food blogging buddy, Lynn of Sacatomato, recently helped me with the latter. She knows a guy who has some trees that bear too much fruit. With this connection she was able to score me 8 pounds of plums to play with. Satsumas and Mirabelles, no less.
I've talked about Mirabelle plums here before. They're hard to locate in the U.S. and unless you know someone with a tree your chances of finding them are slim to nil.
For the most part, Mirabelles are a tad too sweet for me. Sugary, flowery, and just plain intense. After eating one or two I'm usually good for the year. That's why I spun them into a delectable spiced plum sauce perfect for ice cream, cheese plates, and pancakes. It's warm, floral, spicy, and fruity - everything a good fruit sauce should be. While you can use overripe plums of any variety for this I encourage you to try Mirabelles if you can find any.
Mirabelle Plum Sauce
I didn't skin these as the plums were too ripe to do so. However, Mirabelle skins are very thin and break down for the most part in cooking.
5 cups Mirabelle plums, chopped
3 cups sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, seeded
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon butter
Combine all the ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim off any foam that forms. Continue to stir for 30 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Pour into sterilized jars. Process for canning if you so desire or simply store in the fridge. Makes 4 1/2 - 5 cups.