If you’re looking to a) embrace the fruits of the season and b) show your mum how special she is, nothing quite hits the spot than a batch of these homemade fruit pastilles. I’ll be the first to admit that these ones here aren’t made using hedgerow picked seasonal ingredients (next time I promise!) but they still ticked the personally crafted box and were a real hit on the day. My mum doesn’t have a particularly sweet tooth so I didn’t dust them with extra sugar, but that meant she could enjoy them as a quince-like accompaniment to the monthly cheese subscription gift she got for her birthday instead.
500g plums, diced
2 medium-sized cooking apples, diced
1/2 lemon (juice only)
300g sugar (plus extra for dusting, if required)
1. Place the fruit, lemon juice and water in a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat then cover and simmer until the fruit is soft.
2. When cool enough to handle, strain the mixture through a muslin cloth to remove excess liquid then return this puree to the pan.
3. Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved.
4. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and then simmer, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn on the bottom, until it is very thick. When the mixture appears to pull away from the edges of the pan and appears set, it is ready – this should take around 20 minutes.
5. Pour into a lined tray and leave to cool.