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Baked plums offer distinct flavour and smells

I look forward to the tastes and colours of this season all year. Just a few steps from my door, the fresh flavours of my garden are my rewards for planting in the spring. I enjoy tender green peas, fresh carrots pulled from the moist dirt, sweet corn and ripe cherry tomatoes.

I especially enjoy the abundant seasonal fruit when preparing school lunches and harvest meals.

They satisfy our craving for something sweet, while providing the body with nutrients, fibre and hydration.

The easiest way to enjoy a plum is to pop one into your mouth, but baked plums offer a distinct taste and wonderful aroma while baking.

Plum Cobbler Muffins

  • 2 chopped plums
  • 2 c. flour 500 mL
  • 1 c. white sugar 250 mL
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder 15 mL
  • 1 tsp. salt 5 mL
  • 1/4 c. melted butter or margarine 60 mL
  • 1/4 c. oil 60 mL
  • 3/4 c. milk 175 mL
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 5 mL
  • dash of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). In a small bowl, pit and chop the fruit. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and make a well in the centre. Pour the wet ingredients into the well one at a time and stir by hand, then add plums carefully. The batter will be thick. Spoon into prepared muffin tins and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Cool and enjoy.

You can also use fresh peaches instead of plums. Makes 12 muffins. Source: www.yummly.com.

Plum Bread

Serve this sweet bread with hot tea or coffee and a slice of cheese.

  • 1 c. pitted and chopped plums 250 mL
  • 1 tbsp. flour 15 mL
  • 1/2 c. butter or margarine 125 mL
  • 1 c. white sugar 250 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla 2 mL
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. flour 375 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 2 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda 1 mL
  • 1/4 c. plain yogurt (Greek is my preferencefor more protein) 60 mL
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar 60 mL

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Prepare one loaf pan. Toss to coat the plums with the first measure of flour and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter or margarine, sugar and vanilla. Beat in the eggs. In another bowl, combine the 1 1/2 cups of flour, salt and baking soda. Stir the creamed mixture into the dry ingredients, alternating with the yogurt until the batter is smooth. Stir in the plum mixture and pour into the loaf pan. Cover the top of the batter with brown sugar.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and slice.

Source: www.allrecipes.com.

Plum Oatmeal Crisp

Top this warm seasonal dessert with whipped or ice cream. Try reheating this dish and serve it for breakfast.

  • 8 to 10 sliced plums
  • lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. sugar 45 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon 1 mL

Topping:

  • 1/2 c. flour 125 mL
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar 175 mL
  • 1/2 c. rolled oats 125 mL
  • 1/2 c. butter or margarine 125 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon 1 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg 1 mL

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Add the sliced plums to a large mixing bowl, squeeze lemon juice over the fruit. Coat with the first amount of sugar and cinnamon and pour into a nine by nine inch (22 X 22 cm) baking dish. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, rolled oats, butter, cinnamon (second amount) and nutmeg. Mix with a fork or pastry cutter until the dough is crumbly. Spread over the plums and gently press down with an open hand so the top is quite flat.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and the top is golden brown. Serve warm.

Change this recipe by adding fresh blueberries to the plums or ground almonds or pecans to the topping.

How to Freeze

Enjoy plums all year long. Freeze and use in baking. Here are a couple of methods.

Unsweetened: Wash and dry the fruit. Freeze them whole or halve them and pit them (my preference) and place on a baking sheet to freeze. Once frozen, bag them in freezer bags or place in a sterile freezer container that seals and is free of air. Seal, label, date and freeze.

Dry pack sugar: Halve and pit. Pack in dry sugar using 3/4 c. (175 mL) to 4 c. (1 L) fruit. Pack in sterile freezer containers leaving 1/2 inch (1 cm) headspace or in freezer bags, removing the air. Seal, date and freeze.

Source: Saskatchewan Fruit Growers

Plum Blueberry Smoothie

A smoothie is another way to use frozen fruit. It is a great and healthy way to start the day.

  • 1 c. frozen blueberries 250 mL
  • 2 or 3 frozen plums, pitted and sliced
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 c. plain or vanilla yogurt 250 mL

Add ingredients to the blender and start slow with a gradual increase in speed. Blend for 15 to 30 seconds on high to make it lighter with more air. If the mix is too thick, add a few tablespoons of water to achieve a good pouring consistency.

Source: www.smoothieweb.com.

Jodie Mirosovsky is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact: team@producer.com.

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