4 Quick Ways with PLUMS
The fun thing about plums is that they come in different colours – green, yellow, red, purple, blue – so that you can combine them in your cooking to make a dish look more interesting, or more fun, or at least more colourful. Plums are used widely, to make jam and desserts, to combine with meats in savoury dishes, and to make plum wine in China, plum brandy in Eastern Europe, and plum “cider” in England. We like plums because they’re easy to eat and easy to cook with. Interestingly, however, plum recipes aren’t so easy to find. Here are a couple to get you started.
1. Fruit Crisp
Adapted from a recipe in chef Michael Smith’s book, The Best of Chef at Home.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Toss 2 to 3 lbs. of your favourite fruit – plums, or a combination of plums and other fave fruit, de-stoned and cut into chunks – with 1 t. ground cinnamon and spread it into a 9- x 13-inch baking pan. In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1 c. flour, 1 c. brown or white sugar and 1 t. nutmeg. Drizzle in 1/2 c. melted butter and stir until well blended with the dry ingredients. Scatter the topping evenly over the fruit. Bake the crisp until the fruit juices are bubbling around the edges, the fruit is tender and the top is golden brown, about 1 hour. Serve with good vanilla ice cream. Serves 6 to 8.
2. Grilled Fruit with Honey Mint Sauce
From the ATCO Gas Blue Flame Kitchen’s book From the Grill, Our 100 Favourites.
To prepare the sauce, whisk together 1-1/2 c. plain yogurt, 3 T. honey, 3 T. slivered fresh mint, 2 T. lime juice and 1 t. vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Combine 4 sliced plums, 4 sliced nectarines, 2 T. butter, melted, and 1 T. sugar. Place the fruit in an oiled grill wok – a square or round flat-bottomed perforated metal basket ideal for grilling small pieces of food – and grill over medium heat on your barbecue, stirring frequently, until the fruit is heated through and lightly glazed. Serve warm with sauce. Serves 6.
3. Plum Quince Compote
From Simple Treasures, a collection of recipes of Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts.
You can find quinces at the markets in the fall. You can’t eat them raw, but they cook like a damn! This compote would be particularly luscious with grilled meats, or your Sunday pork or beef roast or roast chick. Place into a saucepan: 2 peeled, cored and diced quinces, 3 sliced plums, 1 T. minced ginger, 1 finely diced red onion, 2 T. brown sugar, 1/2 c. rice wine vinegar, 3 pieces of star anise and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until the liquid has evaporated, remove the star anise and serve at room temp.
4. Fruit ‘n’ Booze
From The Best of Bridge Cookbooks’ The Best of the Best and More.
This calls for melon and blueberries, but we think some different coloured plums, chopped, and substituted for the blueberries would be divine! Scoop 1 cantaloupe, 1 honeydew melon and 1/4 small watermelon into balls and add 1 to 2 c. chopped plums. Chill. Make the sauce by mixing 2/3 c. sugar with 1/3 c. water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add 1 t. lime zest and let mixture cool to room temp. Stir in 6 T. lime juice and 1/2 c. light rum and pour over the fruit. Chill several hours. Serves 6 to 8.