We are big fans of this product and want to give you just a little inspiration of ways you might use it at home with your everyday meals. Although plum butter contains simply only 1 ingredient, it requires a lot of love & dedication in the making - taking a whole day and a night to prepare...
A traditional Romanian plum preserve made from wild, organic, Transylvanian plums. Silvoita is a type of plum butter originating in the Transylvania region. 100% natural & completely free from additives. It's a jam like product made from very ripe plums but without any added sugar, with a deeply, intense, plummy flavour and a silky fudge like texture.
Traditionally made in a cauldron like plan over a wood fire, the plums are cooked in the Autumn on a low heat for many hours until a thick, dark, concentrated paste is produced. The cauldron must be stirred non-stop as the plums are not allowed to catch on the bottom. Traditionally housewives used to take shifts in guarding and mixing the plum magic.
1. Fresh sourdough, plum butter & feta ‘telemea’
This dish just shouts out brunch! The saltiness or the soft white feta or telemea balances perfectly with the deep charred pluminess from the plum butter. We added some poppy seeds and a little dried marigold leaf for garnish, but this is entirely optional.
We used a freshly baked sourdough, but any type of bread or toast would be fine to play around with.
Telemea is an authentic Romanian soft, white, salty cheese traditionally made from sheep’s milk very similar in style to a feta cheese.
2. Soft polenta, sausage, plum butter, toasted caraway & aged sheeps cheese ‘brânză de burduf’
Polenta/ ‘mamaligă is a cornmeal porridge that forms a staple part of the Romanian cuisine. It pairs perfectly with ‘Brânză de Burduf’, which is a traditional, soft kneaded sheeps cheese aged in pine bark. Made with pride by the shepherds in the mountains of Transylvania, in particular Sibiu County, for hundreds of years. It requires great skill and time to perfect and is one of the oldest Romanian specialities, with only a few still produce it according to traditional recipes and methods. Replace it with any sheeps cheese to recreate this dish.
These two ingredients topped with a grilled, meaty sausage a dollop of plum butter and some toasted caraway will provide you with the perfect lunch or supper.
3. Plum Butter Crescent Cookies 'Cornulețe' with toasted coconut & white chocolate
Our take on Romanian ‘Cornulețe’... A crescent shaped cookie made from a pastry with sour cream, rolled and filled with either jam, nuts, chocolate or Turkish delight. Ours are filled with wild plum butter/ Silvoița, toasted coconut and grated white chocolate.
160g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
grated zest of 1 small lemon
125g unsalted butter (fridge cold) - cut into cubes
100g sour cream (fridge cold)
50g desiccated coconut - toasted
50g white chocolate - grated
1 egg & demerara sugar
- To make the pastry, add flour, salt, baking powder & lemon zest to food processor & blitz briefly to combine.
- Add butter cubes & blitz for few more seconds, until mixture has the texture of breadcrumbs. Add the sour cream & process until the dough just comes together in a ball (be careful not to over process.)
- Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface & knead for a few seconds to bring it together. Dive the pastry into two, flatten into discs & wrap each half loosely in cling film. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/ 180C Fan/ Gas Mark 6. Line two baking trays with baking paper & set aside.
- Combine your grated white chocolate with your toasted coconut and set aside.
- Take one piece of the dough from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface to form a circle around 24cm. Light place a large dinner plate and cut around with a knife to get your circle shape of pastry.
- Ue a small spatular or the back of a spoon to spread 2-3 tbsp of plum butter evenly over the surface, leaving a 1cm gap around the edge. Sprinkle over half of the coconut/ chocolate mix.
- Using a sharp knife or a pizza wheel if you have one, cut the dough into 12 equal triangles. The best way is to cut into quarters and then each quarter into 3.
- One at a time roll each wedge, quite tightly, starting from the outside and rolling in to the point of the triangle - so that the filling is enclosed. Place them on the lined trays, seam side down, spaced around 3cm apart.
- Repeat the rolling process with the remaining disc of pastry and filling ingredients. Chill on the trays in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking.
- When ready to bake, lightly brush the tops of the cornulețe with egg wash & spring with demerara sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the trays half way through. (Don’t worry if some of the filling oozes out, this will add a caramelised taste to the edges of the cookies.)
- Remove from the oven & allow to cool on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
(NB. Cookie recipe adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi ‘SWEET’.)