Sunday, 20 March 2011
I got a really good deal at the grocery shop the other day on some plums. A whole punnet for only 25 pence! How could I resist! We love plums! They were as hard as a rock, of course, but that is not a problem if you plan on cooking them, in a crumble or a cake . . . but I had something else in mind.
Poached plums. Beautifully tender plums, with a lovely vanilla scented and flavoured syrup spooned over top, with just a hint of lemon.
Oh my but these are good. I like them with a nice scoop of Vanilla Bean Icecream on top . . . it's the Canuck in me. Todd likes them with lashings of custard . . . he's a Brit . . . his veins run with custard.
They are equally as good served with a dollop of tangy Greek Yoghurt or Creme Fraiche.
One bite and I was back in Austria where we holidays two summers ago . . . each morning they served us these lovely poached plums for breakfast, along with yoghurt and meusli. It was a gorgeously delicious and healthy breakfast.
But . . . trust me when I say . . . these are a bazillion times scrummier!
*Vanilla Poached Plums*
Poaching fruit is the perfect thing to do with supermarket fruit that you know will annoyingly rot before it actually ripens. Actually hard fruits are just wonderful done this way. It gives them new life. We like this with vanilla ice cream, but a dollop of Greek yoghurt or Creme Fraiche is always lovely too. You also don't need to keep the spices at just vanilla. Try using some bruised cardamom pods, cinnamon or cloves along with the vanilla!
8 plums, washed, cut in half and stoned
1 litre of water (4 cups)
7 ounces of caster sugar (1 cup)
a strip of lemon peel, no pith
the juice of half a lemon
1/2 a vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Place the water, sugar, lemon peel, and lemon juice in a deep skillet, just large enough to hold all the plum halves in a single layer. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the vanilla bean, scraping out the seeds into the mixture. Simmer for about 5 minutes, then add the plums cut side down. Simmer for about 3 minutes. Flip them over and simmer for another 3 to 4 minutes, just until they have surrendered their firmness and absorbed some of the syrup. They should be just tender to the tip of a knife. Scoop the plums out immediately to a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Cool the syrup down as well. Spoon the fruit into dessert bowls and spoon some cooled syrup over each serving. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of Greek Yoghurt or Creme Fraiche. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
I am so happy that lighter days are here and grateful for sunnier days as well. My food pictures turn out so much nicer!