Home Recipes Nicola Charteris' Spiced Plum Jellies

Nicola Charteris' Spiced Plum Jellies

Nicola Charteris' Spiced Plum Jellies

These jellies are an elegant option for dinner parties. Pair them with a creamy cheese, such as brie, or serve with meat. Leftover jelly can be added to sauces, gravies and casseroles for extra flavour.

Servings: 4 cups


1kg red fleshed plums, fresh or frozen, pitted
8 large plums are about 1070g and the pips weigh about 50g so always get a little extra fruit to make up the 1 kg weight when stoned.

3 star anise

2 cinnamon sticks (optional)

3 pods cardamom crushed (optional)

Juice of one large orange

675g sugar

3 sheets of gelatine (or 1 Tbsp. powdered gelatine)

2 Tbsp. warm water


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  1. Stone and chop plums, and put into large pan with orange juice. Break up the cinnamon stick and star anise and add to the pan.
  2. Simmer over a very low heat for 20 mins or so until very soft. Pour into a colander and push through the colander.
  3. Discard the spices and small amount of skin remaining in colander.
  4. Return the plum puree to the pan and add the sugar. Cook very gently for 45-50 mins.
  5. When the mixture is reduced and thickened, turn off the heat.
  6. Soften the gelatine in luke-warm water and leave for 3 mins to soften and add to the pot.
  7. Divide the mixture between your jelly moulds (nicely shaped plastic containers or pottles will work well too) and leave to cool. Tip: lining the moulds with plastic wrap so it hangs over the sides before pouring in the jelly makes it easier to lift out the jelly when ready.
  8. Cover them with either cling wrap or lids and put in fridge until needed. They will last months in the fridge.
  9. To release the jellies, run a hot knife around the edge of the mould and turn upside down onto a serving plate.


  • Take your beloved Edmonds Tomato relish recipe and increase the spice for older taste buds. Increase the curry powder, add cayenne pepper and more mustard. Do this gradually till you find the ratio your like and enjoy. You can always add more chilli but it’s hard to “take out” if too heavy handed.

  • A secret tip for when making fruit chutneys and relishes? It’s not necessary to peel all fruits when making fruit relishes and chutneys such as pears and peaches. This can save a lot of time and energy.

  • Don’t be afraid to add citrus to the mix – Nicola’s popular Indian date chutney has extra spice and two fresh lemon blitzed in the food processor and added to the pot at the start of the cooking.

  • ‘Long and slow’ is the key with chutney and relish. A gentle heat for several hours maximises the flavour.

  • Take up foraging around your neighbourhood for things to make. “I often make crab apple jelly with the many wild crab apple trees around. I also make a pesto from wild parsley, puha and nasturtium that tends to grow wild around Port Chalmers. This pesto is my top seller at the Otago Farmers market and is usually made from a mix of the above wild greens and Swiss chard (silver beet), cashew nuts, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. The trick is to get the seasoning right.”

  • Nicola embraces recycling – keep glass jars, wash and recycle with your own preserving, or give to others who make extra preserves

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