Everyday Cooking

Roasted Plums with Vanilla Bean

September  3, 2013

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 with plums

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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.

More: Try using your firm-ripe plums in this salad, with avocado.

Clara with Plums

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 from Food52

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)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom.

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I'm a native New Yorker, Le Cordon Bleu graduate, former food writer/editor turned entrepreneur, mother of two, and unapologetic lover of cheese.


photogirl320 September 4, 2013
This was inspiring. I had some not-quite ripe nectarines and made this recipe tonight using them. Delicious on their own, but extra divine topped with some leftover whipped cream.
Joerf48 September 4, 2013
She is sooo beautiful. I just want to hug her. Oh, and the recipe sounds good too ;-)
Kitchen B. September 3, 2013
I'm amazed - she'll be a teenager soon. Food52 will still be going strong, and we'll still be in awe of Clara. Lums a la Clara is befitting
drbabs September 3, 2013
Wow, look how big she is! She's adorable. Thanks for sharing pictures with us.