Author Notes: This is hardly a recipe -- really just a flavor combination and a simple method for coaxing the best out of not-quite-ripe fruit. Feel free to experiment with other fruits, such as peaches, apricots or even cherries. —Merrill Stubbs
Serves: 4 to 6
firm-ripe plums (about 2 inches in diameter)
tablespoons raw (turbinado) sugar
Ice cream or creme fraiche for serving (optional)
- Rinse and dry the plums. Halve them and remove the pits, then slice each into 6 vertical wedges. Put them in a bowl.
- Put the sugar in a smaller bowl. Using a sharp paring knife, split the vanilla bean down the center and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds to the sugar and stir with a fork to distribute the vanilla seeds.
- Sprinkle the vanilla sugar over the plums and toss gently with your hands to combine. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and spread the plums evenly over the paper. Heat the broiler, with an oven rack positioned about 5 inches from the flame. Broil the plums for a couple of minutes, watching them carefully, until the sugar begins to caramelize. Cool slightly before serving, either on their own or with a scoop of ice cream or creme fraiche.
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