Tudor Cottage B&B's Homemade Brown Sauce (Spiced Plum Ketchup)

It has to be admitted that this is a labour of love, but it is a very therapeutic way of dealing with a glut of plums on a cold and dreary day; it fills the house with the most amazing Autumnal aroma and the resulting shiny piquant brown sauce will put you off HP for ever.


1 kg plums, halved and stones removed

300g onions, peeled and roughly chopped

600ml wine vinegar

500g light soft brown sugar

3 tsps. ground cinnamon

2 tsps. ground coriander

1 tsp. mustard powder

3 fat cloves of garlic, chopped

3 tbsps. maple syrup

Oven 180c, 160 fan

This makes enough for about 4 x 1 lb jam jars (sterilised, see Helpful Hints)


  • Put the de-stoned plum pieces and the onions into a deep roasting pan

  • Add half the vinegar and all the other ingredients except the maple syrup.  Give them a stir

  • Bake uncovered in the oven for 3-4 hours, stirring every hour or so.  The plums and onions should be meltingly soft and the juice should have become a sticky syrup

  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little

  • Transfer the aromatic mixture to a food processor and whizz to a smooth purée.

  • Transfer to a large saucepan and stir in the remaining vinegar

  • Bring to the boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and becomes a pleasingly thick ketchup consistency; about half an hour.

  • Add the maple syrup, pour into warm sterilised jars and seal.

:Helpful Hints and Avoiding Stumbles:

  • An easy way to sterilise jars is to put them through a hot cycle of the dishwasher.  Keep them in a low oven until you are ready to fill them.

  • Allow to mature and mellow for at least 2 months before consumption

  • Sealed jars of brown sauce should keep at least 12 months.

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