Plums two ways

I love plums. And while they are not in season at the moment, I was persuaded to buy some fragrant, fat, delicately mauve and perfectly ripe plums. 

As it was still coolish, hot plums two ways, were in order. These are both easy, adaptable and forgiving.

Plum and Almond crumble (adapted from a Nigel Slater Recipe)

1kg plums; washed, quartered and de-stalked
Unrefined caster or brown sugar; about 3 or 4 tablespoons
2 tablespoons kirsch or sloe gin (optional)

For the topping
120g plain flour
85g cold butter in cubes
Unrefined brown sugar; 4 tablespoons
Ground almonds; 3 tablespoons
Almond slivers; 2 tablespoons (if you fancy)

Almonds and plums are a lovely combination and make a gorgeous crumble. This makes enough for 6 so I often make two smaller dishes and freeze one for a week night treat.

Preheat the oven to 180c / gas 4 / 350f.

Toss the prepared fruit and sugar into an oven proof dish and drizzle with the kirsch / Sloe Gin if you are using it.

In a food processor, whizz the butter and flour together until it looks like breadcrumbs (you can do this by hand if you prefer).

Mix in the sugar and the ground almonds, combine well, then cover the fruit with the mix. Scatter the slivered almonds on top.

Bake in the oven until the topping is golden brown and the fruit bubbling through.

Serve with custard, ice cream or cream!

Easy Baked Plums

One plum per person, washed, halved and de-stoned
Brown sugar
Sloe gin

Creme fraiche or ice cream for serving

This is the easiest hot fruit dessert ever. Works well with peaches, nectarines, pears also – just vary the liqueur to suit.

Preheat the oven to 180c / gas 4 / 350f.

Put a plum half into each hole of a muffin / cake tin.

Scatter the top with a good sprinkle of dark brown sugar.

Drizzle a teaspoon of sloe gin into the hollow of each plum half.

Pop in the oven for 20 minutes or so.

Serve two halves per person, not forgetting to pour on some of the thick syrup that results from cooking over the top, with some creme fraiche or ice cream.

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