19 Feb 2013

roast plums

This time of year means stone fruit in Tasmania. I am sure if you walked into anyone's kitchen right now you would find, either on the bench or in the fridge or even in the freezer, bowl and boxes of stone fruit. Apricots, plums, nectarines, cherries. Juicy, jewel coloured fruit ripe and bursting with so much possibility.

There's eating them fresh, of course, but if you have a solid supply, you need to cook them. Make jams or spicy chutneys, crumbles or upside down cakes. Here's an apricot crumble I made using a favourite crumble mix:

I've also been cutting up and freezing the fruit: sometimes lightly stewing it first, thinking ahead for my breakfast muesli; sometimes freezing it raw, for when I want to make a cake or pudding in the depths of winter.

I bought these incredibly juicy and almost-black plums from a lady at work who lives down the Huon Valley way (once Tasmania's apple-growing heart). These were so big and glorious I didn't want to 'sully' them with a cake batter. So I simply did this, to ensure the fruit remained the star:
  • Preheat the oven to 180 and line a baking tray with paper.
  • Halve the plums and remove the stones (the hardest part of the whole exercise). Do this over the tray so if they are as juicy as mine, you don't lose a precious drop of that nectar.
  • Sprinkle with some light brown sugar (as much as you like - I didn't do too much as the fruit was sweet enough) and a good dash of cinnamon. Then zest one orange over the top and squeeze in the juice. Because my fruit was so 'wet' already, I only used the juice of half the orange.
  • Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or so, until they are collapsing and soft.

You can eat these as they are, with ice cream or cream or natural yoghurt, as I did; the tartness complements the spicy warmth of the fruit. You could freeze them, if you make a big enough batch to make it worth your while, for an oaty crumble in the winter. The plums' colour and richness will bring back the heady, fruit laden days of summer.

Yes, I photographed them on another plate! Then I ate them.


  1. I have fresh plums and nectarines right now waiting to be baked. Already canned some white peaches, but missed the apricots. But I ate a truckload of fresh cherries, my favorites! Roasting plums, what a great idea!

  2. Paula, you sound like a Tasmanina, drowning in luscious fruit! Do try roasting - it would work for the nectarines just as well, I'm sure.
    I had some on my breakfast muesli this morning and they made for a scrumptious start to the day.

  3. Just perfect way to cook and serve plums. The colours are so beautiful!

    1. hi hannah - yes, i'm so in love with the rich colours. such variation in one fruit.


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