Merrill's baby Clara has quite the appetite -- and it's all Merrill can do to keep up. Armed with her greenmarket bag, a wooden spoon and a minimal amount of fuss, she steps into the fray.
Today: Merrill coaxes the best out of tart summer plums.
Clara's pretty mad about plums. In fact, she calls most stone fruits -- peaches, apricots, pluots, and yes, plums -- "lums." She likes to eat them whole, and she's getting good at navigating the pits. A large portion of her wardrobe is covered with "lum" stains.
A couple of weeks ago, we ended up with a box of plums that were slightly more firm (and tart) than I expected. I'm sure Clara would have been very happy with them as-is, but I decided to try roasting them to see what she thought of them that way.
I sliced them up, tossed them with a little turbinado sugar and the seeds of half a vanilla bean, and put them under the broiler just to caramelize the sugar. Once they were cool, Clara popped them like candy.
Maybe I should call these "Lums a la Clara."
Roasted Plums with Vanilla Bean
Serves 4 to 6
8 firm-ripe plums (about 2 inches in diameter)
2 tablespoons raw (turbinado) sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
Ice cream or creme fraiche for serving (optional)
Photos by James Ransom.