It’s finally cooling down here, which means I’m starting to get that cozy fall feeling (even though I am wearing a tank top as I write–by “cool” I mean mid-eighties). The days of berries and sweet summer corn have faded, and in their place are some of my favorite fruits and vegetables of all, from stone fruits to winter squash; all are blissfully blog-worthy.
First up, plums.
I am a champion of plums because I know how opulent their flavor can be. The knowledge stems from a simple circumstance: I grew up with a plum tree in my backyard. Said tree produced exquisitely delicious fruit, the skins tart, the sweet flesh beneath, lush.
But to my family’s chagrin (most notably my mother’s), the plums came all at once (in about a 2-week period), so despite stuffing ourselves silly with fresh plums morning, noon, and night, my mother had to crank into uber-creative plum mode to use up the bounty before the gorgeous globes rotted in the grass.
Hence she made jars of plum jam by the dozen, plum cake, plum pie, plum crumble, plum clafouti, plum jell-o, plum salads (slices of fresh plum are smashing with spicy greens like arugula), even a few batches of plum chutney. In the process, she also inspired me to consider plums in a wide range of culinary uses.
I don’t have a plum tree of my own here in Texas, but I do have a simple remedy for anemic supermarket plums: send them to the oven. In a pie, in a cobbler, in a cake, or simply solo with a drizzle of honey. A quick spell in the oven transforms supermarket plums (even the rock-hard ones) to tender, sweet-tart perfection.
Here’s one of my go-to desserts: a quick plum cake that just happens to be vegan, too. Don’t worry about the yeast: there is no rising involved! Just dissolve the yeast in warm water, then add to the batter.
[…] Here is the recipe, if you’re interested. It’s completely vegan and uses yeast, which is something I’ve never seen before in a cake! The yeast made the cake light and fluffy (there was also baking powder), and gave it the slightest bread-y feeling. The plums were not at all ripe when I bought them, but they softened up and were SO delicious. […]
Sunday 6th of October 2013
No oven temp listed
Tuesday 14th of October 2008
Wow, that looks crazy good. I agree, roasting or sauteing fruit always takes it to the next level. I'm lucky with the farmers market plums that I can get for a song, but even those would improve through your method. And that panna cotta sounds divine! I'll be visiting frequently!
Sunday 12th of October 2008
Happy weekend! I know, isn't goat cheese sublime? I've been doing a lot of savory-sweet experiments with it of late. It seems there are few things goat cheese cannot make more delicious :)