I believe the plums I received were Santa Rosa. Feel free to cut this recipe in half if you don't have access to the bounty of a neighborhood plum tree. Rose Water can be found in many ethnic and Middle Eastern markets. Don't worry if you can't locate it, the compote will be delicious without it as well.
5 pounds plums
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 pound sugar (I used fine-grain organic cane sugar)
3 tablespoons rose water
Have a big bowl ready. Pit and chop the plums into small 1/2-inch pieces. As you chop place the chopped plums in the bowl and toss with a drizzle of the lemon juice every once in a while. When all the plums have been chopped gently toss them with any remaining lemon juice and the sugar. Stir in the rose water. If you have some time to spare, let the mixture sit for twenty minutes or so.
In your largest, widest, thickest-bottomed pot bring the plum mixture to a boil over medium heat. Stir regularly scraping the bottom of the pot to make sure the fruit doesn't burn. Adjust the heat if needed and cook at a lazy boil for about 20-25 minutes, skimming off any foam that develops on top. Be mindful of the texture of the fruit, you don't want to overcook (or over stir) the fruit to the point that it breaks down and goes to mush.
Remove from heat and spoon the compote into individual jars. Refrigerate until ready to use. It will keep for about a week like this.
Makes about eight 1/2-pint jars of compote.
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