Recipes for Plums
Make the most of the British plum season and try out one of our favourite recipes.Plums come into season in late summer and if you have a plum tree, this means making the most of them while they’re fresh. If you’re lucky enough to have a glut then, once you’re tired of plum dessert and muffin recipes, turn the rest of your crop into plum jam – delicious in our shortbread squares (recipe below).
Plum & Orange TartThis very easy Plum Tart is one of the best recipes for a quick, simple plum dessert. Variations of it have been around since Mrs Beeton’s times – her version uses shortcrust pastry and plain brown sugar (4oz to 1.5 pints of plums). Because the plums are roasted, you can use fruits that are still slightly firm.
- 10-12 fresh plums
- 200g puff pastry
- Juice and zest of 1 orange
- 100ml cold water
- 3tbsp sugar
- Half a cinnamon stick
First make the orange syrup. Put the orange juice, water, sugar, and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan. Bring slowly to simmering point, swirling the pan gently to encourage the sugar to dissolve. Once it’s dissolved completely, raise the heat and boil fiercely for about 5 minutes to reduce the syrup by about ¾.
Roll out the puff pastry to a square or rectangle of about 25cm. Cut the plums in half horizontally and carefully remove the stones. Arrange them over the pastry, cut sides up, leaving a border of about 3cm around the edges. Use a pastry brush to put the syrup over the plums.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Bake the tart for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden and the plums are tender. Cool for a few minutes before serving with vanilla cream or crème fraiche.
Plum Jam Shortbread SquaresPlum jam is a great idea if you have a glut. Poured into sterilised jars, it will keep until your next harvest. Try it out in this lovely shortbread recipe.
- For the jam:
- 450g plums
- 0-4 tbsp water
- 450g sugar
- For shortbread:
- 100g butter
- 100g caster sugar
- 200g plain flour, sifted
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1tsp vanilla extract
First make the jam. Halve the plums and remove the stones. Put into a pan – if they are very firm, add the water, but if they are soft and ripe you won’t need any. Simmer until the plums are pulpy and then add the sugar; keep on a low heat until it’s dissolved. Raise the heat and boil until the jam reaches setting point (to test, drop a teaspoonful onto a cold saucer, wait a minute, then push with your finger; if the surface wrinkles, the jam is ready). Pour into warm, sterilised jars and seal immediately. Keep about 1 cup of the jam in the saucepan and leave to cool.
The ShortbreadTo make the shortbread, beat together the butter and sugar until the mixture is soft and creamy. Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix gently until combined. Tip in the beaten egg and vanilla extract and form into a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Roll out half of the shortbread dough to fit a 25 x 30cm baking tin, then spread the cooled plum jam over the base. Roll out the rest of the dough to cover. Bake for 15 minutes, then cool in the tin. Cut into squares and cool before serving.