This year in the UK we seem to have had a bumper plum harvest. Everywhere I go, work, church, friends’ houses, I am being bombarded with bags of plums to take home.
This is a picture of my friend Gill’s plum tree in full fruit!
So I will admit I haven’t been terribly enterprising with them but here are my top four things to do with a bag of plums:
1. Eat them raw! Well I did say I hadn’t done anything that special. I suggest you pick the nicest, ripest plums and eat them for snacks. They are sweet and delicious.
2. Freeze them. Wash the plums, then cut them in half and remove the stones, before bagging them up for the freezer. They will only be suitable for cooking with afterwards but at least they are out of the way for now.
The next easiest option is to make stewed plums. Again wash the plums, then cut them in half and remove the stones.
Place in a microwaveable bowl, sprinkle with cinnamon and a spoonful of sugar, and add two tablespoons of water.
Put them in the microwave and cook on high. I suggest cooking for two minutes and then stirring, then cooking for another two minutes etc. Mine were about done after 4-5 minutes but it will vary depending on your microwave.
I have saved the best for last. Take a medium sized glass or ceramic dish and half fill with washed, halved and stoned raw plums. Mix in a teaspoon of cinnamon, a tablespoon of sugar, and a heaped teaspoon of cornflour (cornstarch for those in the USA I believe).
Make the crumble topping by putting 150g of plain flour in a bowl with 75g of cooking margarine or butter. Remember: half fat to flour!
You need to mix the butter into the flour and end up with a mixture the consistency of breadcrumbs. Traditionally one does this with fingertips, but I have found that a fork used with a sideways cutting motion does the job without the messy fingers.
Add to the crumble mix 75g of caster sugar and mix it all together. Spoon the crumble mixture over the plums. Smooth the top over with the back of the spoon so its flat but don’t press it down too hard.
Cook in a 180 C oven for 40 minutes. You can tell its done when the top is a nice light brown. Some of the plum juice may spill over the top and be bubbling at the edge.
Serve with ice cream or custard.
So there we go, four easy things to do with plums. I’m getting a bit fed up of them now so I may revisit this later in the year when I get the frozen ones out of my freezer.