I love over-stocking my cupboard with fresh (and cheap!) summer fruit from the markets just as much as I love having the sudden need to find a dessert (or other dish…I suppose) to take care of the last few fruit before they become overripe. If you buy three plums, you’ll eat three plums. If you buy 12 plums, you’ll eat a bunch and still have plenty to have to cook with – ripe fruit is too precious not to eat on its own at first! I had four plums, reaching dangerous levels of ripeness. Perfectly soft, in a few days they’d be toast. I found an abundance of delicious plum recipes (yes, all for dessert) but settled on a simple gratin, which I adapted to a maple & plum gratin, because it needed so few other ingredients.
Maple & Plum Gratin
- 3/4 cup of milk
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tbs honey
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 4 plums
- 2 tsp sugar
Note: You now have 2 idle egg whites. You could whip up an egg white omelette, throw them into your next smoothie or (my favourite option), make meringues…
1. Heat milk in a small saucepan over the stove until it is steaming. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes.
2. Strain milk through a fine sieve into a medium bowl. Return the milk to saucepan and reheat until steaming.
3. Whisk egg yolks, honey and cornstarch in a medium bowl until smooth. Gradually add the hot milk, whisking until blended. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened and starting to bubble gently. This will only take one or two minutes.
4. Transfer to a clean bowl and whisk in vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
5. Preheat the broiler in your oven ( this is the heating element on the roof of your oven). Dish out the custard into greased ramekins (as I did) or a gratin dish. Slice up the plums and layer them on top, sprinkle them with sugar.
6. Broil for 5-7 minutes or until the plums are caramelised. Serve immediately (as if they stood a chance of sitting around uneaten).