Boo. Hiss. Sob.
It’s coming to the end of the summer fruit season and I am devastated. And this coming from someone who loves the winter fruits of apples, pears and oranges just as much as I do the summer ones!
But theres nothing quite like a perfectly ripe nectarine, peach or plum, eaten over the kitchen sink while you try to stop the juice from running down your arm. It’s just so wonderful.
When I bought my little weatherboard in Bacchus Marsh a little over a year and a half ago, she came with a lemon, plum and mulberry tree. Sometimes I wonder if thats why I bought her! I overlooked all the cracks and work that needed doing inside because I was blind sided by the nice fruit trees out the back. Doh! But I don’t regret it.
Now last summer was a bumper crop on the plum tree and this year, even after my lovely fella’s novice attempt at pruning her, was no different. (despite my concerns!).We had heaps of plums. And because we had heaps, so did the birds. But let’s not talk about that…
And speaking of pruning, now is the time to start pruning your summer fruit trees back ready for next years growth. Get onto it!
I ususally make plum crumble with a glut of plums but this months Gourmet Traveller had an interesting recipe in it I thought i’d try; Plum Crostata.
Crostata is an italian style pie or pastry, and this one uses hazelnut meal, so it tastes quite earthy and not too sweet. Give it a try, and let me know what you think.
900g plums, halves and stones removed
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup hazelnut meal
500g plain flour, sifted
150g caster sugar
50g hazelnut meal
250g chilled butter, cubed
3 eggs beaten
For pastry, combine hazelnutmeal, flour and sugar in a bowl. Add butter and using fingertips, rub butter in until mixture resembles breadcrumb consistency. Add eggs and stir to combine then gently knead into a smooth dough on a lightly floured workspace.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refridgerate for one hour or til required.
Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius. Roll out pastry on a lighty flured surface to a 40cm diameter circle and then place on a baking paper lines tray. Scatter hazelnut meal over pastry then arrange plums on top leaving a 5cm border around the edes. Sprinkle sugar over plums and gently fold edges into the centre.
Bake until pastry is golden and plums are tender (about 40 mins). Serve slices warm with cream or cold the next day (tastes great the day after!)
Are you morning the end of the summer fruit season? What do you like to make with plums? Lets talk all things plum in the comments below.