Mexican plums are one of the fruits that you can forage in Central Texas, if you have a tree or know where to find one.
I haven’t been so lucky on my recent attempts to find them, but Mum Foods, which sells foraged food and dishes and products made with those ingredients, has been posting lots of Mexican plum photos on its Instagram account, @mumfoodsatx.
At Lick Ice Cream, owners Anthony Sobotik and Chad Palmatier are making a Mexican plum sauce whose recipe they shared in case you want to try it at home. Like many jams, this sauce calls for simmering the fruit with sugar on a stove until it thickens. You could mix it into an ice cream base, serve on top of store-bought ice cream or use in salad dressings, marinades or as a condiment for grilled meat.
If making ice cream, add 4 ounces of the sauce to the ice cream base before freezing in the ice cream machine. To make chocolate plum sauce, pour the hot sauce over two ounces of chopped chocolate, stirring as you pour. For a spicy chocolate variation, simply add one quarter teaspoon of ground cayenne, one half teaspoon of ground chipotle peppers and one ounce of honey. Stir to incorporate. Feel free to adjust the cayenne and chipotle levels to your liking.
Mexican Plum Sauce
2 lb. Mexican plums
2 1/4 cups sugar
Juice of one lemon
2 cups water
Remove any stems that might still be attached to the plums and then rinse well. Place plums in a heavy-bottom pot.
Pour sugar over plums, add the lemon juice and stir to coat plums. Let the plums sit in the sugar for 30 minutes, allowing them to macerate slightly. Next, add the water to the plums and sugar and place the pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 40 minutes. The plums will begin to partially burst open.
Let the water and sugar reduce by 25 percent and thicken to a syrupy consistency. Remove the pot from heat and allow to stand for five minutes until cool.
Now, stir the pot and crush the plums as much as you can with a wooden spoon or masher. If you have a food mill, place it over a large enough bowl and carefully pour the mixture into the mill to work the plums through. The mill will catch all of the pits and any of the skin not soft enough to pass through. If you don’t have a food mill, simply place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Slowly pour the mixture into the strainer and work it through with a spatula.
Once all the sauce has been passed through, set aside and allow to cool completely. Pour into the storage container of your choice and place in the refrigerator. The sauce will keep in a cool place for up to four weeks.
— From Lick Ice Cream owners Anthony Sobotik and Chad Palmatier