These plums are sweet, and fruity with hints of caramel. Their skins are gooey and tacky. They glisten on the plate and, give a simple, sweet and light finish to your meal.When we have people coming for supper I enjoy thinking about the main course, and starter, if we are having one. Pudding is often the part of the meal I have least enthusiasm for. A couple of squares of dark chocolate often satisfies my need for a sweet hit after the main course. These plums are an exception to that lack of enthusiasm for making desert. They enable me to produce a pudding that looks beautiful on the plate, finishes the meal with sweet and fruity notes, while only taking ten minutes to prepare.The history of this recipe starts with my grandmother, who was a great cook. One of her many dishes was baked apples. As a child I had mixed feelings about these apples, which had been slowly softened in the oven. To me the skin was a strange texture and the middle of the apple was sometimes ‘toenaily’. (Toenaily is a word my Mum coined, in this instance it means that not all of the core had been removed, leaving tough little bits that felt like toe nails in your mouth.) The apple flesh however was delicious, soft and sweet, and it was this creamy flesh that I loved eating and would look forward to. The memory of this baked pud has stayed with me and years later, when I was in a shop searching for pudding ideas, my eye caught sight of a punnet of plums. I wondered whether baking them would work and decided it was worth a try. Not only was it an improvement on the apples – soft and fruity flesh with a tacky and slightly caramelised skin – but best of all, not a toenail in sight! Years on, these plums are a firm favourite in my repertoire.
View the recipe below as a starting point. I’ve written it for four, but it’s scales very well and you could readily feed one or thirty one. I allow two plums per person as a minimum, if you have a couple of spare halves they will always get eaten up I promise. You then just need a light scattering of sugar and a spice if you like. A dusting of icing sugar as you see in the picture makes them even more special but isn’t necessary. I have served them with crème fraîche, ice cream, yoghurt, cream and custard, these all work well. Lastly the plums shouldn’t be too ripe, if they are firm to touch they are ideal.
Plums with sugar and spice
1/2 tbsp caster sugar
Some pinches of ground mixed spice
Icing sugar: to dust optional
Creme fraiche: to serve, optional
Total carbohydrate per portion – 21 g
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / 350°F / Gas mark 4.
2. Cut each plum in half, remove the stone either with your fingers or a sharp knife.
3. Put the plums face up in a baking dish.
4. Scatter the sugar and spice over the plums.
5. Put in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the plum flesh is soft and some of the sugar has caramelised.
6. Dust with icing sugar if you like. Serve with crème fraîche.
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