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Sljiva Slatko

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    Posted: 06 October 2015 at 22:32

Sljiva Slatko

Plum Preserves

From Time/Life's Foods of the World - The Cooking of Vienna's Empire - 1968:

"Slatko" is a Serbian specialty consisting of pieces of large fruit or whole small fruits, such as cherries or berries, that hold their shape during cooking. To avoid breaking up the fruit, do not stir it but shake the pan often to prevent sticking or burning. The most popular "slatko" is made from plums.

To make 4 cups:

4 cups sugar    

2 pounds damson plums, sliced in half and pitted    

3 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine the sugar and plums in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan, with the plums on the bottom. Cover tightly and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, then shake the pan gently to distribute the sugar evenly. Replace the cover and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until all the sugar is dissolved.

Add the lemon juice and boil for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the liquid thickens to a thin syrup that, if tested, registers 234°F on a candy thermometer or forms a soft ball when a little is dipped into cold water.

Off the heat, skim off any foam on top of the fruit with a wooden spoon, then cover the pan and let the plums stand for 12 hours at room temperature before serving. If the "slatko" has become watery during this time, boil it again for a short time, and cool it again.

Because of the syrup in which it is cooked and kept, "slatko", refrigerated in a covered glass container, will keep for as long as two years. It may be served as a simple dessert or with fruit dumplings, or it may be served like preserves, with rolls or bread.

Using a pound of sugar for each pound of fruit, you can make "slatko" from various kinds of fruits, such as cherries, strawberries and blackberries.

NOTE: The plums are usually juicy enough so that it is not necessary to add liquid, but if the liquid seems scanty after 20 minutes of cooking, add 1 tablespoon of water.

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