My Victoria Plum tree is nearly toppling over with fruit this year.
Plums always make me long for the sour pickled plums that were served almost every meal time when I worked in Japan. Such an intense sour flavour that it was almost impossible to take a mouthful without pulling a face; and then long for some more!
In Chinese Medicine the sour flavour of plums is used to help with sore, stiff tendons and ligaments, and late Summer is often a season of aches and pains.
I took a few of my plums and had a go at creating a sour, full of flavour, plum dessert which could also be therapeutic at this time of year as the mists start rolling in. I’ve used a version of a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe for poached quince which is one of my all time favourite puddings, but taken the sugar away, replaced the quince with plums, and altered it here and there. Sorry Yotam!
The astringency of the pomegranate helps clear Damp, the Star Anise helps stop Phlegm accumulating (get one step ahead of those chesty coughs) and the orange rind makes things easy to digest. The sour flavour from the cooked plums helps keep tendons and ligaments free and relaxed. The clotted cream doesn’t do much therapeutically but it brings the flavours together in complete mouthwatering deliciousness!
Grab some plums while they’re still perfect and here you go;
Therapeutic, Late Summer Spiced Poached Plums
- 2kg ripe plums (I used Victoria Plums)
- 700ml 100% pomegranate juice (I like POM)
- 2 star anise
- 1 vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
- shaved rind of 1 large orange
- juice of the same orange
- a little freshly shredded mint
- clotted cream
Cut the plums in half and take the stones out. Put the plums, pomegranate juice, vanilla, star anise, orange rind and orange juice in a thick bottomed sauce pan and simmer for 10 mins. Take the plums out with a slotted spoon and put to one side. Keep simmering the juice and spices for 30 mins until the mixture has reduced so much that it has thickened quite a bit.
place the plums in bowls, pour the hot juice over them (straining out the bits and pieces) and serve with a little shredded mint and clotted cream.
Then have some more!