Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sugar Plums... There's a Thought!

Sugar Plum Fairy Photo Courtesy of scillystuff's photostream

After hearing so many Christmas songs, seeing repeats of The Nutcracker and so forth, it dawned on to to consider looking into Sugar Plums, and maybe even to make some.

Plums Photo Courtesy of kthread's photostream

First I discovered there are as many descriptions and variations of what are called 'sugar plums' today as there are UFO sightings. Some are hard candies, some had no plums and some are a confectionery of dried fruits and nuts. In between and throughout those descriptions, there are a zillion other recipes. So, what was originally the real sugar plum?

I found what might be THE answer on a site called Gode Cookery: A compilation of medieval recipes from authentic sources adapted for the 21st century kitchen, along with diverse facts on food & feasting in the Middle Ages & Renaissance and other historical culinary items.

Sharon Cohen wrote Visions of Sugarplums reprinted on that site above, based on research through some 16th century books on preserving or sugaring plums. She included a recipe version for today's kitchens, which I copied, thinking to make some.

I think not!!  

Actually, I just can't make them for this Christmas! Sugaring the plums (assuming I could even find any decent plums) requires a 3 day process that is repeated 3 times, for a total of 9 days. Then it takes from a few days to as much as 2 additional weeks to dry the sugared plums. Ms. Cohen goes on to say that plums sugared in this manner in summer are still soft and chewy at 12th Night, so I'm putting it on my To-Do List for next year. 

Meanwhile, Visions of Sugarplums will have to dance in my head!

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