For a couple of years now I've been lucky enough to be offered some of the surplus fruit from the tree in a friends garden. This year all the fruit trees and bushes seem to be producing bumper crops and the plums were no exception. The tree was quite literally weighed down with fruit. Is this a sign of a hard winter to come or just an old wives tale?
I had no idea what variety they were but I posted a photo on Twitter and the conclusion was Victoria Plum. I also got a fantastic range of suggestions tweeted as to what I could make with them. Plum Jam, Plum Chutney, Plum Clafoutis, Plum & Champagne Jellies, Plum Sauce, Plum Brandy, Plum Duff, Plum Vinegar, Sweet Plum Bread, Plum Syrup, Plum Flapjack, Plum Cobbler, Plum Crumble, Roast Plum Sorbet, Plum Tart... Where to start?!
First up Plum and Vanilla Jam. I used the proportions of 1kg fruit, 1kg jam sugar and 150ml water. You can do multiples of this depending on how much fruit you have. Plus scrape the seeds from a Vanilla pod and pop the seeds and pod in the pan whilst you cook your jam.
A specific recipe that had been suggested on Twitter was Jamie Oliver's Sweet Duck Legs Cooked with Plums and Star Anise. This immediately sounded right up my street so went straight on the meal plan for Sunday Lunch. It looked and tasted fantastic. A real showstopper dish that was actually pretty straightforward to make. The sweet and spicy oriental flavours combined really well.
Browsing through an old Good Food magazine I came across a recipe for Gluten Free Plum & Amaretto Crumble. I used it as my inspiration to create a non GF version with some of my own tweaks. The almond and plum combination is a real winner.
PLUM AND AMARETTO CRUMBLE
800g plums halved and deseeded
1 vanilla pod
85g caster sugar
125g ground almonds
125g porridge oats
75g demerara sugar
handfull of toasted flaked almonds
Simmer the plums, vanilla (scraped seeds and pod), sugar and Amaretto over a gentle heat until soft (about 5 mins) Remove vanilla pod and transfer fruit to a baking dish.
Rub together the almonds, butter, oats and cinnamon, Mix through the sugar. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the fruit and top with toasted almonds.
Bake at 200 degrees for 30 minutes until top is golden and fruit bubbling.
Serve with custard, ice cream or cream. All three if you fancy!
So that's all the plums for this year unless I can find anyone else with a surplus they would like to share?! I have lots more recipes up my sleeve. Meantime I'm working on incorporating some of my Plum Jam stash into my my meal planning and baking as 14 jars will keep me in toast and jam forever.