It’s a nasty day today. You know, the kind of day when it rains so much you can hear car alarms being set off. The kind of day when the last thing on your mind is venturing into the gloomy, grey outside world. Luckily, I don’t have to because it’s Sunday, so what better thing to do than bake something warm and golden to bring a bit of cheer into what is otherwise a dismal day!
I bought a punnet of plums last week with the intention of using them just to snack on, but as we are at the end of plum season they were a bit mealy, sour and generally a bit tasteless. So I decided to cook them down to a thick compote and use this for a fruity filling in some shortbread biscuits.
I used a basic shortbread recipe with some cornflour to enhance the crispness of the base.
As the shortbread and topping are quite sweet, I added some lemon juice and zest to the plums to make the sourness more pronounced, together with a pinch of cinnamon to give the compote a warm autumnal taste.
I decided to put a crumble topping over the plum mixture, with some porridge oats and flaked almonds added for texture. I had a little difficulty getting the baked square out of the pan, and created some surface ‘fissures’ in the process. Please note that if you are patient enough to let everyhting cool properly you won’t have this problem, as the crumble squares have since soldified.
I would definitely make this again, although perhaps with apricots, and I would give the shortbread a while in the oven by itself to crisp up. Even without this the squares came out great!
About 6 medium Red Plums, roughly chopped
pinch ground cinnamon
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 pared strips of lemon zest
Put ingredients in a pan with a dash of water to stop the plums from catching. Cook until the fruit has broken down but still has a chunky texture.
Leave to cool while you make the other components.
115g Plain flour
55g caster sugar
Whiz the butter and sugar together in a processor until light and fluffy (or cream together by hand). Add the flours and whiz to a firm dough. You may find that it makes big crumbs of dough, this just needs to be pressed together.
30g flaked almonds
30g rolled oats
pinch ground cinnamon
Pulse the butter, flour and sugar in a processor until it has a sandy texture. Mix through the oats and flaked almonds.
Line the base and sides of a 20cm square deep tin with baking paper. Press the shortbread into the base of the tin. Spread the plum compote over the shortbread, and sprinkle over the crumble topping. Press down slightly.
Bake at 180 (fan) for 30 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown.
Leave to cool before cutting into squares.