Maple-Roasted Apples & Plums
No share pictures this week (normally we get our share delivered in a box to a pick-up location right around the corner from us, but this week we went out to the farm to pick it up. Fun, fun. We got lots of vegetables, picked all different kinds of cherry tomatoes and a bunch of tomatillos, and….um….I forgot my camera. Oops.)
*But,* let’s forget the vegetables for today, shall we? I have to tell you about all the plums we’ve been eating! All desserts in the house lately have been plum, plum, plum, which is funny to me, as I never really had any special love for plums until this year. Could it be because I’d only really ever had supermarket plums, with their unreliable and sometimes mealy quality? Maybe. But for the past few weeks, they’ve been everywhere in our farmer’s market, all different sizes, shapes, beautiful, beautiful! I bought quarts of all different kinds, just to do a taste test. Where have these plums been all my life?! They were wonderful. Every variety tastes different: some tart, some sweet, some with almost floral notes. It’s hard to choose a favorite — but, I think the tiny sunshiny yellow, freckled Mirabelle plums might just be it. It could be because their pits separate so easily from the flesh (one of my pet peeves about cooking with plums is the difficulty of pitting the clingstone varieties, but Kristin’s tip to use a grapefruit spoon is a good one!)
I made a version of Dorie’s dimply plum cake with some of the different varieties I picked up one week.
One of the market stands also had Damson plums, gorgeous inky blue oblong fruits. I’ve always heard that Damson plums are great for jam….
…so I *did* make some jam (so tasty!) with one batch, and with another batch, this Damson plum tart. The Damson plums are tart – which I like – but which a certain other person in my house whose name starts with a B found a bit too sour, I think. I was kind of stingy with the sugar. More for me. 🙂
BUT: the very BEST thing I’ve done so far with the plums was to roast them with some slices of local apples, local dark maple syrup, and a little cinnamon.
The plums turn sunset hues, the apples soften and soak up all the maple-y goodness, and you get a bright ruby-red sauce to spoon over ice cream, yogurt, mix with whipped cream, or…just eat straight out of the bowl with a spoon. Ahem.
Even though they’re sweet and tart and delicious right out of the bowl, they are wonderful gently warmed and spooned over some vanilla ice cream with some of my favorite granola sprinkled over the top.
Maple-Roasted Apples & Plums
Adapted from Cooking with Shelburne Farms
2 pounds apples (about 5-6), sliced
2 pounds plums (about 8), pitted and sliced
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (Grade B/dark amber is best to use here for optimal maple flavor, and don’t even think about using that “pancake syrup” junk — actually, don’t ever use that stuff; there is no comparison!!)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Toss together the apples, plums, cinnamon, maple syrup and butter on a large sheet pan or rimmed baking sheet.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the apples and plums are tender. Let them cool slightly in the pan, then scoop them into a container with all of the juices that have accumulated.
Serve over yogurt or ice cream, sprinkled with some granola, if you like.