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Two Plums,Two Ways

August 8, 2011

By Pat Tanner

New Jerseyplum season is finally here! For years I have made a version of Marian Burros’s classic plum torte recipe from the New York Times, but this season I was hunting for something simpler and lighter. I found exactly that in the latest cookbook from Nick Stellino, the companion volume to his Public Television series, “Nick Stellino Cooking with Friends II.” This chef is celebrating 15 years of being on national television. The recipe, which incorporates both plums and pluots, comes from his friend Maria Hines of the acclaimed Tilth restaurant inSeattle.

While plums grow beautifully in our state, pluots—those highly engineered plum-apricot hybrids—are mainly from California and Washington State. But they do have their charms, namely a smooth skin that appeals to those who don’t like the fuzz of apricots, and a sweetness that surpasses plums.

(If you’re interested in the famous Burros recipe, look up “original plum torte” at nytimes.com.)

 

Plums Two Ways with Pound Cake

Maria Hines, Tilth Restaurant, Seattle, from Nick Stellino Cooking with Friends 2

Serves 4

 

1 loaf pound cake, at room temperature

For plum compote:

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 plums, pitted and coarsely chopped

1 cup sugar, plus more as needed

1 tablespoon lemon juice

For pluot salad:

3 pluots, halved, pitted, and sliced thinly

1/4 cup mint leaves, cut chiffonade style

Honey (preferably a light-flavored variety)

To prepare the plum compote: In a pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the salt and the chopped plums. Once the plums are warmed through, add the sugar and give it a stir to combine. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the lemon juice. Let simmer for about 2 minutes. Taste, and add a touch more sugar if needed. (You want to have a nice sweet-tart balance). Set aside.

To prepare the pluot salad: Combine the sliced pluots and the mint. Toss to combine. Drizzle with honey (about 1 tablespoon), and toss gently to incorporate the honey.

To serve: Cut the pound cake into 1-inch-thick slices. Place on plates. Spoon the compote on top of the cake. Spoon the pluot salad on the side.

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