Plums are the fruits that can perhaps make the slide from summer into fall a little less abrupt. They embody the lusciousness of summer fruits — and yet, thankfully, stay in season well into autumn, bringing with them the memory of warm days and intense summer flavors.
Biting into a ripe, fresh plum is always a thrill — its juicy, sweet flesh clothed in tart skin will summon your taste buds to attention with every bite. But plums can be equally delectable when cooked, especially when roasted. In this recipe, the plums are roasted with a drizzle of Cognac and a dash of vanilla to deepen their exquisite flavor.
Best of all, this dessert is so easy to prepare that you might find yourself making it for your family and friends more than once in the season.
I serve these beautiful roasted plums with a cardamom gelato that transforms them into a showpiece of a dessert. But if time is not on your side, don’t let making your own gelato stop you from trying this recipe. Serve the roasted plums with a pistachio gelato (or ice cream). And if that’s not available, even a simple vanilla ice cream will do the trick nicely!
Roasted plums with Cognac and cardamom gelato
serves 4 to 6
active time: 15 min
For the plums
- 1 1/2 lbs (680 g) ripe, but still firm, Italian prune plums or other small plums – halved and stoned (choose plums even in size)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
- 2 tablespoons Cognac
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter – melted
For the garnishes
- 1 tablespoon Cognac
- 1/2 recipe cardamom gelato
- 1/4 cup roasted, salted pistachios – coarsely ground (use a food processor or a mortar and pestle)
- 1 medium ceramic baking dish – lightly buttered
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF (230ºC).
- Step 1: Place the plums in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the cornstarch, sugar, Cognac, vanilla extract and melted butter. Toss carefully with your fingers. Transfer the plum halves in the prepared mold in a tight single layer, cut-side-up, making sure to drizzle them with their juices. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the juices are bubbly and the edges of the plums are golden-brown. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
- Step 2: Divide the plums onto dessert bowls or plates. Add the Cognac to the baking dish and stir until blended with the pan juices. Place a scoop of Cardamom Gelato next to the plums. Drizzle a little of the juice/Cognac mixture over the plums. Sprinkle the gelato with the ground pistachios and serve immediately.
- Cook’s note: The plums can be roasted up to 2 days ahead, and refrigerated. Before serving, bring to room temperature, preheat the oven to 450ºF and bake for 5 to 7 minutes until hot.