I found some lovely, luscious Italian plums in the Phoenix Market in Orleans, and I brought them in to the Church office, washed them, and placed them in a basket on the counter to share with all my visitors. I was very surprised that so many folks had never tasted them.
Our sexton, Larry, had never seen even them before. I couldn't believe it. "You've really never seen Italian plums?" I asked him.
"No...we don't have Italian plums in Ireland," he said.
Well, oh-kay then.
The basket was empty by the end of the day, and I wanted to make a Clafouti with the, so I stopped and picked up another brown bagful on my way home. Traditionally, clafouti is baked with the pits in, supposedly to impart the flavor of almond, but I really don't like the idea of picking stones out of a baked good, so I fiddled with a couple of recipes, and added a touch of almond extract.
Oh, my. It looked so fabulous!
Oh, well, their loss. The plums (via the clafouti) went back to the Church on Tuesday, and I'm happy to say that everything there loved it!
What struck me most about this, was how sweet plums become in the baking -- and I've got a sheath of plum cake recipes I'd like to try. Don't you think it's a lovely fall dessert? I love the rich color of this fruit!
So here's the recipe; let me know what you think...
Turn oven to 375 degrees.
2 Tablespoons honey
15 small Italian-style plums
1 1/3 cup whole milk
2/3 cup flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Butter a fluted tart or quiche pan, and drizzle half the honey along the bottom. Cut plums in half, and arrange in a pretty circular pattern with the cut side down. Drizzle remainder of honey on top, and dust with cinnamon from a shaker.
In a blender, mix batter ingredients. Pour batter over plums.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, until firmly set and nicely brown.
Dust with sparkling (crystallized, non melting sugar).
Serve warm or at room temperature. Yummy with a dollop of whipped cream!