Plums, native to China, have been recorded as being around since 479 B.C and were associated with great age and wisdom in Chinese mythology. The Greeks imported plums from Syria and then the Romans introduced them to Northern Europe.
Surprisingly, plums are second to apples as the most cultivated fruit. Their health benefits are plentiful….as well as being a great source of vitamin C they are also a good source of vitamins B1, B2 and B6. They are high in fibre and in their dried state – Prunes, they can help in the prevention of Osteoporosis, Cardiovascular disease and Cancer and help reduce cholesterol levels.
We had been lucky to have a glut of plums this year…usually we only have a few that are just eaten on their own but this year we have had pounds and pounds of them plus a huge amount of apples. Not one to let things go to waste I’ve been trying to find ways of using up all of the ones I haven’t given away.
Here are two of the things that have been made with the plums……
Plum and Almond cake
- 50 g ground almonds
- 175 g soft butter
- 175 g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 175 g self-raising flour
- grated rind and juice of one lemon
- 500g plums ( about 8 standard ones)
- Icing sugar for dusting
- Pre-heat oven to 180C/160C fan/350F/Gas mark 4. Butter and line the base of a 20cm cake tin.
- I added the flour, ground almonds, sugar, butter, eggs, lemon juice & rind to a food processor and mixed for 2-3 minutes until it was light and fluffy. It could be done with an electric hand whisk though.
- Halve the plums and remove the stones. If the plums are large cut into quarters.
- Put half of the cake mixture into the tin, then scatter half the plums on top. Spoon over the remaining mixture, level and scatter with the rest of the plums.
- Bake in the oven for 50minutes- one hour until the cake is golden and firm.
- Remove then leave to cool.
- Lightly dust with icing sugar before serving. Delicious served with cream, creme fraiche or soured cream.
Next time…recipes for Plum Vodka and Plum and Apple Chutney