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Baked Plums with Almonds & Cobnut Ice Cream


Walking around my neighbourhood in the evening, I have been entranced by an intoxicating scent heavy with intense cherry-vanilla notes – as if cream soda grew on trees. The other day, I found the source: a beautiful plum tree overhanging the street and laden with ripe fruit. A few steps further and I spied some shells from a cobnut tree. The squirrels had got to these first but it did get me thinking…

Baked Plums with Almonds & Cobnut Ice Cream

This versatile recipe is a super simple way to make the most of August’s bountiful harvest of plums and cobnuts. Try baking any other stone fruits you have to hand using this method. The cobnut ice cream is equally delicious served alongside a fruit cobbler.

About this recipe

Preparation Time 30 Minutes
Cooking Time 25 Minutes
Serves 4 People
Baked Plums with Almonds & Cobnut Ice Cream Baked Plums with Almonds & Cobnut Ice Cream

Ingredients

For the Plums:

  • 4 ripe plums, cut in half and stone removed

For the almond mixture:

  • 50g ground almonds
  • 6 amaretti biscuits
  • 50g unsalted butter, softened
  • 50g soft brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • Splash of Amaretto, optional
  • Flaked almonds, optional

For the Ice-cream:

  • 500ml whole milk
  • 100ml double cream
  • 100g cobnuts, peeled
  • 100g blanched hazelnuts
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 6 egg yolks

Method

1.

For the ice cream: Warm the cream and the milk together in a saucepan.

2.

Toast the nuts lightly in a pan and when fragrant add to the milk mixture, pulse with a hand blender and allow to infuse for at least 30 minutes (but preferably overnight in the fridge).

3.

Take the mixture out of the fridge and strain through a fine sieve. Gently reheat the infused milk and cream. Meanwhile mix the sugar and egg yolks together until pale.

4.

Slowly pour the warm cream and milk onto the egg mixture then return everything to the pan. Cook gently, stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened and can coat the back of a wooden spoon.

5.

Transfer to an ice-cream machine and churn for about 20 minutes.

6.

Serve topped with shaved cobnuts if desired.

7.

For the plums: Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

8.

Rinse the plums & wipe them dry. Cut in half and remove the stone. Use a teaspoon to scoop away any hard flesh so you have a nice clean hollow.

9.

Rub a little butter over the base of a non-stick oven-proof dish. Arrange the plum halves cut-side-up in the oven dish.

10.

In a bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, crushed amaretti, ground almonds, egg yolk and lemon zest until smooth.

11.

Spoon a walnut sized amount of mixture into each hollow and, if you like, drizzle with a little amaretto.

12.

Bake the fruit in the oven for approximately 20-30 minutes, basting a couple of times, or just until the fruit is tender and a little wrinkled at the edges. The almond mixture should be golden.

13.

Let the plums to sit for a little while before serving with a scoop of the ice cream and a scatter of flaked almonds.

14.

You can also keep the plums in the fridge overnight- just make sure to take them out about 30 minutes before serving.

15.

To note: If you don’t have an ice-cream machine, serve the plums with a good quality shop-bought vanilla ice-cream or a generous dollop of mascarpone!

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