Maybe it’s all that rich meat I’ve been guzzling on, maybe it’s the slow, terrible and steady tightening of my trousers around my middle. Maybe it’s the recent promotion of my belly to the heady heights (widths?) of a full blown gut. Whatever it is, I’ve been a-hankering after fruit.
This feels a little odd as the gales continue to blow and the chill rain comes cascading down. Usually I don’t get any sort of healthy urge till at least April. So this calls for something different from the usual fresh, healthy feeling fruit. This calls for something sticky and spicy and warming.
In other words, this calls for baked fruit. When I’m hit with a desire like this, I want oozing, glistening fruity flesh – all pummelled and gleaming. Promising a burnt tongue and lashings of that sweet, tart flavour. The one that sends a slight, but delicious, shudder through your jaw.
And after an over-hot mouthful of molten plum, or rhubarb, or some other fruity mush, what better to cool its lava like effects than soothing spoonfuls of Greek yoghurt. Cream wouldn’t do, it’s too rich. You need the piquant, almost sour edge of the yoghurt to make everything sing.
This is a dish, in other words, for your senses. A feast of texture and taste, sweet and tart, red hot and fridge cold. A dish to eat hot for dinner or cold for breakfast. Something that looks almost obscene in it’s fleshiness. Something to warm and make you feel wicked. but still healthy.
My wicked but healthy baked aromatic and spicy plums
Feeds two, but is totally scalable
I like to use dark plums, I love their appearance and texture as well as their taste. But you could use pretty much any fruit. Rhubarb would be good, as would nectarines (although you may want to tone down the aromatics a bit). You could do it with apples, apricots, even bake some grapes (less time needed here). Have fun. Go wild. Experiment.
3 large plums, cut in half and de-stoned- I like to use big fat red ones
A thumb of ginger, peeled and sliced into coin-sized rounds
1 cinnamon stick broken into three or four pieces
1 tblsp or so of clear honey
Half a lemon
A small handful of raisins
Heat the oven to 180oC
Lay the plumbs face up in a baking tray small enough to fit them tightly together in a single layer. Tuck the ginger and cinnamon stick around the plumbs and scatter over the raisins.
Squeeze the lemon and then dribble the honey over the plumbs. Fill with about a centimetre of water. When the oven is hot put them in and bake them for 25 minutes or so. Then turn the plumbs face down, and bake for another 25 minutes.
Serve with creamy Greek yoghurt or maybe fridge and have for breakfast the next day.