Friday, September 27, 2013
A fruit cheese is a highly concentrated fruit puree - so much concentrated that it becomes rubbery and can be cut with a knife ... well, a bit like cheese.
Less concentrated it remains spreadable and is called a fruit butter.
I used 700g of damsons from the allotment and followed a recipe from The Preserving Book by Lynda Brown - a much used book in our house.
Then I returned the puree with the sugar and a small knob of butter to the pan and simmered it very gently until it was reduced to a glossy black-purple paste that 'plopped' and left a trail on the saucepan floor when the spoon was drawn across it. This took about 45 minutes. Constant attention and stirring was required!
Then I spooned the cheese into lightly oiled ramekins (it filled three) and left to cool.
After it had cooled it was quite easy to turn out with a knife. Wrapped into waxed paper it should be kept for 6 - 8 weeks in a cool dark room to let it 'ripen'. And - assuming it doesn't get eaten sooner - it should keep for up to two years!
It can be used sliced with cold meats or cheeses or simply as a fruity treat.