I’ve not been looking after myself as well as I should. It’s easily done, I think. We’re going away to stay in the middle of the countryside for a couple of days, and the timing couldn’t be better… I can’t wait to just have some time to sit and be. Taste the air. Let the sounds of nature wash over me. Of course, we plan on eating damn well, too. Some people fill suitcases with clothes – we’re stuffing ours with food and drink. It’s going to be so good to cook without time constraints!
Meanwhile, I’ll post this recipe that made the most of some stubborn plums refusing to soften. The griddle pan coaxed them to relax, and the topping turned them into their best. Hopefully, a metaphor for me after we return from our trip!
5-6 large plums, halved
Handful of berries (I used frozen cherries)
40g golden caster sugar
40g ground almonds
40g flaked almonds
Dash almond essence
Zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1/2 orange
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. mixed spice
Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Pop the halved plums, flesh side down, on the griddle pan (you can skip this step if yours are soft already.) Let them sizzle away for five or so minutes, then turn over. Continue to cook until they begin to soften.
Meanwhile, make the topping. Put the ground almonds in a mixing bowl. Sift in the flour and spices. Cut the butter into small pieces, add to the bowl, and rub in roughly. Next, add the egg, almond essence, orange zest and flaked almonds, and beat in with a wooden spoon until the mixture is creamy.
Fill the gaps between the plums with the cherries, then sprinkle the orange juice over the whole thing. Top with the almond mixture (as evenly as you can) and then bake until golden – about twenty minutes or so. We ate ours with greek yoghurt and a little elderberry jam over the top – delicious!