spiced aromatic plums

plums are one of my favourite fruits. however, this year a lot of the plums i’ve bought have been disappointing - no luscious juicy texture and low on flavour.

i was chatting about this with my friend helen and she pointed me in the direction of a nigella lawson recipes which sees the plums roasted with red wine and spices. i didn’t have enough plums to justify turning the oven on so i simplified things, cutting the plums in eighths and stewing them with the red wine, bay leaves, star anise, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon in a saucepan on the stove.

the resulting fruit was packed with flavour and wonderfully delicious – the bay and cardamom really made this for me. as recommended by helen, i ate mine with greek yoghurt and am planning another batch already.

nigella’s baked spiced aromatic plums (serves 4-6)

1kg plums

300ml red wine

2 bay leaves

½ a teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cloves

1 star anise

seeds from 4 cardamom pods or scant 0.25 tsp ground cardamom

200g honey

set oven to 160c. choose a large oven dish/tray that will fit the plums, halved, in one layer; if you use a couple of containers make sure you fill them or there won’t be enough syrup.

cut plums in half, remove stones and place cut side down in tray. put all the other ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil.  pour over the plums, cover the dish tightly with foil or lid and bake.  if your plums are soft then they will take about 10-15 minutes, if rock hard about 1 hour.

keep the cooled, covered fruit in the fridge until required (up to 3 days) or can be frozen.  reheat on the hob.