A sugarplum is a confection made up of dried or preserved fruit that is usually surrounded by nuts, spices, and/or seeds and rolled into balls. The use of the word "plum" doesn't mean that plums were necessarily used; it indicates a rounded shape. This confection has a long history and were popularized by The Nutcracker with the Sugarplum Fairy.
(from the Victorian Emporium)
70g dried plums (prunes)
70g dried figs
70g dried apricots (unsulphured if possible)
1 tablespoon brandy
60g walnut pieces
60g flaked almonds
50g crystallised ginger (chopped)
1 teaspoon orange zest
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon pale clear honey
60g caster sugar
Roughly chop the dates, prunes, figs and apricots and place in a bowl with the brandy. Stir to combine, cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave overnight.
Lightly toast the walnuts and almonds by heating in a dry frying pan for a few minutes over a medium heat. As soon as the nuts begin to colour, remove from the heat and tip them onto a plate to cool.
Pulse the nuts in a food processor and then add the dried fruit, crystallised ginger, orange zest, spices and honey. Process until the ingredients are starting to combine to form a coarse paste.
Pour the caster sugar into a shallow bowl. Take a heaped teaspoon of the mixture and roll into a ball using the flat of your hands. Roll the ball in sugar and place on a wire rack. When all the balls are formed and coated, repeat the sugar coating process once more.
Leave the sugarplums to dry out a little on the wire rack for a few hours or overnight. They can be stored in an airtight container in a cool place (but not in the fridge) for about four weeks. If desired, dust with icing sugar just before serving.