I don’t think I knew how to make a proper sundae at home until, at least, I was in middle school. I lived off of McDonald’s hot fudge sundaes, of course, but never really believed that this could be made at home. This was all until my sister went to a birthday party one year where, instead of a cake, they only had a sundae bar. We immediately recreated it at home with ice cream, chocolate and caramel store-bought sauces, crushed cookies, sprinkles, whipped cream, and nuts (the kind that are stored in syrup – we do it right). It was brilliant – filled with so much goodness! I loved every single bite.
The reason I say this is because the one “topping” we ever had with our ice cream in the summer was plum sauce. This, I may argue, is even more brilliant than any sundae bar. But the reason I never equated this to any ice cream treat is because, my friends, we called this plum juice at home. Oh yeah, it was as thick as a sauce. And we definitely only had it with vanilla ice cream. But, in our house, this was a juice. And as a result, not an official ice cream topping to turn into a sundae.
And why not, I say. It’s made with fresh summer fruit. And, well, that’s where the similarities end. But good thing. My mom’s flavorful sauce is tangy from the plums, flavored with sweet and salty, and finished with smoky Indian spices, that can only be cooled off with smooth vanilla ice cream. I mean, this is some good stuff. It basically needs no other toppings. I’ll just have them with my hot fudge sundaes instead.
8-9 ripe, but still firm, black plums
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. jiralu powder, note follows
Half and pit all of the plums. Boil with just 1/2 – 3/4 cup water until fork tender and they are falling apart. Blend the plums, with the water, until completely pureed. Strain to discard the skins.
Place the juice in a pot, and place over medium heat. Add more water if it seems too thick. Stir in sugar, salt and spices, and let the juice come to a rolling boil. Let boil for about a minute, turn the heat to low and adjust all of the spices. Take pot off heat, and let cool to room temperature. Place in the refrigerator until cold, and serve over vanilla ice cream.
Jiralu is a combination of salt, cumin, dry ginger, chili powder and turmeric. It is very commonly available at any Indian grocery store (and has so many other uses!), but if you don’t want to make this investment, I would suggest adding 1 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. all spice, 1/2 tsp. ginger, and another 1/2 tsp. salt. But you can also just flavor it however you please. I think some cinnamon would be delicious in here. And maybe a pinch of cardamom? And adjust as you see fit.