School dinners made me despise cooked fruit for years. I will always remember the disappointment of walking into the lunch hall and seeing a crumble, instead of treacle sponge or something equally as rot-your-teeth delicious. The only pudding I would look at with even more disdain was spotted dick – the name, the raisins, just no. Still, in times of desperation, I’d drown it in custard and hope for the best.
It wasn’t until a few years later, when I tried a real apple crumble after being lured in by the sugary topping (admittedly, still the best part) that I realised what I’d been missing out on. Oh, the wasted years.
For some unknown reason, I had been dreaming about poached plums all week, so I decided to have a go at making my own. I used blood orange juice for the fragrant citrus scent and ruby red nectar, a touch of maple syrup for sweetness and a few slices of fresh ginger to add a little background spice. The plums came out just as I like them; soft and buttery, still slightly tart and swimming in rich syrup. I topped them with Coyo and some chopped pistachios for a simple way to serve them, but I plan to use the leftovers for porridge and maybe some pancakes… it is the weekend, after all.
And now, for some awkward one handed photography. Have you ever tried to hold a DSLR in one hand, whilst taking a photo in manual, not shaking/breathing and also holding a fork? I’m telling you, it’s hard work. Note to self: buy a tripod.
- 4 plums
- juice of 3 blood oranges
- 1/4 tsp vanilla powder (or a fresh vanilla pod and the seeds)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced (optional)
- Cut each plum in half, remove the stone, then cut each half into thirds.
- Add the juice of the oranges into a pan (see notes) with the vanilla, half of the maple syrup and the ginger. Bring to the boil.
- Add the plums to the boiling poaching liquid, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Gently simmer for 12-15 minutes, being careful not to overcook them or they will turn mushy.
- Once the plums are ready, remove them from the liquid, then add the other half of the maple syrup to the pan and simmer for 3-5 minutes until it has thickened and become syrupy.
- Finally, serve the plums and drizzle with plenty of the syrup.
- Be sure to use a wide, shallow pan to ensure all the plums are submerged in the poaching liquid.