We have been talking about fresh plums all summer long. When we finally spotted them at a recent market, we (OK Steve) couldn’t resist snapping up a bagful without bothering to ask the vendor anything regarding variety, locality or organicity. When we returned home all we knew was they were big, very purple and seemed very, very unripe.
A few days later we also discovered they were very, very sensitive, as almost half of our purchase “ripened” into juice-weeping balls of bruises. The chickens received some sweet gifts, Steve resolved never to buy from that vendor again, and Michelle researched how best to dispatch the remaining still-firm plums before their bruising began. (Also, as is common in Gourmandistan, she really wanted something for dessert). A plum and frangipane concoction seemed like a good idea, but the custard came out kind of gritty and the baked plum skins were too leathery for Michelle’s taste. So, the chickens got another treat.
Luckily, however, the baking process helped spur Michelle’s thinking process, which led to creating a roasted plum base for frozen yogurt. The result? This lovely, pinky-purply frozen treat, with a sweet and tart flavor that reminded Steve of umeboshi, the Japanese pickled plum.
A wonderful save for a woeful impulse buy—and an excellent precedent for our second seasonal bag of plums, snapped up by the eternally hopeful Steve on this week’s market trip.
ROASTED PLUM FROZEN YOGURT
(makes about 4 servings)1-1/2 lbs. plums, halved and pitted 1/2 c. light brown sugar 1/2 c. Greek yogurt Juice of 1 orange, strained Pinch of salt
Place plum halves in a baking pan. Sprinkle brown sugar over. Bake in a 350° oven for about 30 minutes, until fruit is soft, stirring occasionally to make sure sugar doesn’t burn.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Process in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Place purée in a bowl and refrigerate until completely cold, preferably overnight.
Whisk yogurt, orange juice and salt into fruit purée. Freeze in an ice cream maker.