This salted plum lemonade has it’s own fan club. I get requests (demands even) for this lemonade all the time. Plums are naturally tangy and sweet like lemons, so you can make a really exciting lemonade with just plums, lemons, sugar, and salt. The salt is there to enhance the flavor – it’s not a salty drink per se.
So, I’ve actually been making and perfecting this lemonade for 8 years. It all started at the Natural Gourmet Institute, where I used to work with chefs who ran cooking classes. In those classes, there were always extra cut lemons leftover. I’d take those lemons, add umeboshi paste with maple syrup, and make a glass for the chef, the dishwasher, and all the assistants.
Before long, people were begging me to make this drink. They’d even try to procure extra lemons just for me (they were obsessed). Now, I realize that fermented plum paste (umeboshi) may not be a staple in your refrigerator. The good new is: you can use fresh plums just as easily.
Yesterday, I shared a duck confit recipe with you with a plum sauce. That sauce is 100% plums that get blended and strained. I used the extra sauce to stir into this lemonade. Added a pinch of salt, and those flavors really popped.
Star Ingredient: lemons
Flavor Affinities: PLUMS + LEMONS
Tastes: sweet, tangy, salty (lil bit)
Method: blending (if using fresh plums)
Wisdom: A small amount of salt creates the best tasting lemonade because it just enhances the essence of the lemons. Plus, it’s more satisfying because people sweat during the summer and need electrolytes to quench their thirst.
How to Make Fresh Plum Puree
I’ll tell you right off the bat that the fresh plum version will give you extra plum sauce. That’s because you can’t throw 1 plum in a blender. There needs to be adequate coverage of the blender blades to create the smoothest sauce. Hence, there are 4 ripe plums in this recipe.
If you want to buy umeboshi…
Know that a little bit goes a long way. It’s already salty so you can just stir in 2 teaspoons. Taste and add more if you want to. Umeboshi is one of my all time favorite ingredients, and it’s actually a great cure for a hangover.
Now, I like my lemonade on the sour side. If you’re like me, then this lemonade is for you. If you like yours sweeter, just add more sugar.
Salted Plum Lemonade
- 6 lemons
- 4 ripe plums, or 2 teaspoons umeboshi paste
- 1/4 tsp salt, only add extra salt if NOT using umeboshi paste
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 cups filtered water
- Strain the lemon juice over a pitcher.
- Remove any stems from the plums and cut them in half to expose the seeds. Use your fingers to pry the pit out of the plums and place the flesh into a blender. Blend on high to completely puree into a smooth sauce.
- Pour 1/4 of the plum sauce over the strainer into the pitcher. Reserve the rest of the plum sauce in the fridge.
- Stir in salt, sugar, and filtered water. Taste and add more sugar if you like a sweeter lemonade. Serve with ice or add slices of fresh plum.
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