Au cas où ….you find some mirabelles

Mirabelles…there for the taking

I’ve written about the au cas où bag before: that little shopping bag or some such that you tuck into your pocket before any walk, au cas où you find something worth harvesting or talking home.  It was as well we had that bag yesterday.  Walking in the fields above Laroque, we found 2 mirabelle trees, their tiny juicy fruits just turning to golden ripeness.  We harvested what we could, and came home.

Then we remembered the trees we’d seen one previous year on the road between us and Léran.  We went home for another bag and hunted out those mirabelle trees lining the route.

Hundreds of plums, thousands of plums, millions and billions and trillions of plums – to misquote that much loved picture book by Wanda Gagabout rather a lot of cats.  Reader, we picked them – some of them anyway.  We came home.  And this is what we made.  With a few of them, anyway.

Bag not big enough? Find a hat.

Mirabelle and Rosemary Jam

I kg mirabelles

400g high-pectin sugar, or add pectin powder according to pack instructions to granulated sugar.

4 rosemary sprigs, each approx 5 cm long

1/2 vanilla pod.

Directions:

  • Put mirabelles, sugar, rosemary and vanilla pod in a preserving pan and bring slowly to the boil, so the plums have chance to release their juices.
  • Simmer briskly for about 7 minutes.  It’s not necessary to bring it to jam setting temperature as the pectin will do its work, and it’s a fresh flavour you’re aiming for. But the jam won’t keep long outside the fridge.
  • Take from heat and remove rosemary sprigs and vanilla pod.  This is important.  If you leave the herb in, the jam will taste medicinal. The hint of rosemary should remain elusive, and just add that extra Mediterranean je ne sais quoi
  • This is the bad bit.  You could have halved the plums before you started and removed the stones then.  But I think it’s marginally easier to fish them out now.  Only marginally though.  The choice is yours……
  • Add vanilla seeds from the pod and mix.
  • Fill your ready-prepared jars.

8 thoughts on “Au cas où ….you find some mirabelles”

  1. I used to pick wild plums as a child in Alabama. They were small and jewel-red. I have no idea what they were called, other than “plums.” I enjoyed your post. Happy harvesting

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  2. Ooooh that sounds so good – I LOVE plums. We have nothing more than tiny green plums in our garden at the moment but there’s a promise of nice things to come. Love them poached with porridge, but most of all in a crumble with cream!

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  3. Je connais bien les mirabelles puisque mon épouse est née en Lorraine (le pays des mirabelles avec l’Alsace ),où nous allons presque tous les ans et que j’en cultive depuis près de 25 ans dans les Pyrénées centrales .
    Etes vous bien sûre qu’il s’agit de mirabelles ? Les bonnes variétés qui sont les plus cultivées (mirabelles de Metz et mirabelles de Nancy ) arrivent à mâturité à partir du 15 Août (Les fêtes de la mirabelle ont d’ailleurs lieu dans la deuxième quinzaine du mois d’Août ).
    C’est un fruit excellent .Les Lorrains en font une très bonne confiture ,des tartes ,et une eau de vie excellente qui est très parfumée .
    Bien sûr c’est une variété de prune ,mais en Lorraine ,n’allez pas dire que c’est une prune !Pour les Lorrains il y a les mirabelles et d’autres fruits parmi lesquels on trouve… les prunes.
    En septembre ,n’oubliez pas votre sac …au cas où …vous trouveriez des cèpes !

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  4. We’ve got a lot of ‘wild’ plums here – escapees from the orchards that have gone feral. This could be a good use for them. I’ll keep my ‘sac’ to hand/

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