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Plum & Ginger Relish – Small Batch Preserving

I enjoy making jams and chutneys but with only two of us in the house, it takes forever to finish a jar of anything. Even gifting does little to make a dent into stockpiles. The answer is ‘small batch preserving’. There’s no need for kilos of fruit and sugar. This Plum & Ginger Relish is ideal. A dozen plums will get you started.

white dish of purple plum & ginger relish with chunks of cheese and sourdough starter crackers in the background

We had some visitors in our house over Christmas. When they departed, they left behind some fruit and vegetables. This included a dozen or so plums. Whilst plums were in the shops, it was really too early in the season for them. The plums were tart and verging on over ripe. They weren’t spoiled, they just weren’t very nice to eat. Rather than waste them I decided to make a relish to use with cheese and cold meats. Even a modest dozen plums created ample relish, with 1 huge and 2 small jars.

overhead view of dish of plum and ginger relish with chunks of cheese and sourdough crackers on a wooden board

I’ve used plums but this would be equally suitable with any stone fruit including the often disappointing apricot. Like all chutneys and preserves, Plum & Ginger Relish benefits from some keeping time in the jar. This allows the vinegar to mellow and the relish to continue to thicken. Having said that, it’s ready to eat now, so tuck in. It’s great with my Leftover Sourdough Starter Crackers that you can see in the photo above. Recipe here!

Plum & Ginger Relish


  • 600g plums or other stone fruit (500g without seeds)
  • 1 brown onion, large dice
  • 1 cup white or raw sugar (or a combination)
  • 1 cup cider or white vinegar
  • 1 tspn salt
  • Knob of ginger (size of a walnut), sliced thickly
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tspn white pepper
  • 1/2 tspn ground ginger (optional)
plum and ginger relish cooking in a saucepan with a wooden spoon


  1. Slice plums into quarters. Do not remove skin.
  2. Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan, stirring on a medium heat unti sugar has dissolved.
  3. Keep relish on a simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop mixture catching on the bottom of the pan. Do not boil the relish.
  4. Relish is ready when fruit is tender and has started to collapse and the overall consistency has thickened and reduced. It may take up to another 10 minutes gentle cooking, depending on the ripeness of the fruit you are using.
  5. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. You can remove the ginger slices if you want or just remove them when you open the jars to use.
  6. Pout hot relish into hot sterilised jars. Seal with preserving covers (if using) and lids whilst warm and allow to cool before storing in a dark cupboard.
  7. Once open, store jar in fridge. Eat within 4 weeks of opening
three jars of purple plum and ginger relish stacked on a table
4 comments… add one
  • Mackay Sherry February 16, 2019, 7:16 pm

    I love making huge vats of chutney and relish in my special pot. Makes me feel… useful and thrifty. Great not to waste food isn’t it? Cheers sherry

    • Fiona Ryan February 18, 2019, 3:27 pm

      We are a in total agreement about waste, that’s for sure. The colour of this relish is magical.

  • Tandy | Lavender and Lime February 18, 2019, 5:31 pm

    This relish sounds so good. I also had some left over plums, but I baked with them 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan February 23, 2019, 12:08 pm

      These wren’t worth baking Tandy. There are better plums around now so I’m enjoying them.

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