Now that plum season has arrived dessert couldn’t be simpler or more delicious than roasting up fresh plums in sweet port wine and tossing in a fresh rosemary sprig. Take advantage of these glorious summer fruits. Even plums that are not perfectly ripe will blossom with flavor and texture if you give them a good roast in aromatics. Or do what I sometimes do and let it cook 10 minutes extra until surrenders itself to an almost jam-like texture and spoon it over yoghurt. mmm
I prefer trees that leaf before they blossom like apples and plums. I would never mention this to my plump little peach tree with her clunky waxy blooms held on barren branches in early spring. She looks so exposed and vulnerable with no greenery to protect her should a late frost come blowing through.
We used to have a Stanley plum tree, magnificent with dark purplish leaves that bedecked itself in white flowers each spring. So generous was this tree that we would fill bowls with her juicey fruit and bring them wherever we went like Daddy Warbucks handing out dollar bills.
When my mother was a little girl she and her friends would climb the neighbor’s orchard wall and steal plums. They would then return to the wall and eat their bounty of purple skinned, golden fleshed fruit.
Our first fall in our new houses; my mom in one house and my husband and kids in the other, with a shared garden between, I planted a Stanley Plum tree for her Birthday.
That tree grew beyond the bounds of the promised Dwarf size within the first couple of years. It gave shade, and fruit and beauty to our yard for ten glorious years.
My mom died on October 2, 2012 and a scant two weeks after she died Hurricane Sandy came roaring through town and broke that tree clear in half in a blaze of glory.
Roasting plums with sweet Port wine and fresh rosemary brings out the innate sweetness in both fruit and wine. An easy and elegant dessert on its own or scoop it over sorbet for a show stopper straight from the cover of a magazine.
- 5 plums
- 3/4 cup port
- 1 branch of fresh rosemary
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 zest from lemon cut into strips
Heat your oven to 350 fahrenheit.
Pour the 3/4 cup port wine into an oven safe pan that has a lid.
Break your branch of rosemary in two or three sections and place snugly in the bottom of the pan.
Half your vanilla bean length wise and place it in the port. Place your strips of lemon zest into the pan as well.
Halve and pit your plums and place them cut side down into the pan with the port wine.
Put the lid on the pan and place the pan in the hot oven.
After 5 minutes remove the lid with oven mitts, being careful not to burn yourself.
Let the plums roast another 15 minutes and remove the pan from the oven.
You can serve them warm or room temperature.
Sometimes I purposely cook the plums an extra 10 minutes. They will not be as pretty or hold their shape but man of man do they taste amazing scooped over vanilla ice cream.