OLD FASHIONED PLUM CRUMBLE
1 1/4 Cups (300 mL) fresh plums
1 1/2 tsp (22.5 mL) sugar
4 tsp (20 mL) all-purpose flour, divided
1 1/2 tsp (22.5 mL) orange juice
1/4 Cup (60 mL) old-fashioned oats
3 Tbsp (45 mL) chopped almonds
4 tsp (20 mL) brown sugar
pinch of cinnamon
1 Tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine fruit with sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons flour, and orange juice. Combine oats, almonds, brown sugar, the remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons flour, and cinnamon. Place in a 1-quart greased baking dish. Drizzle with oil and stir to combine. Sprinkle over the fruit mixture. Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
VANILLA POACHED PLUMS
Serve hot over ice cream, then stir any leftovers into oatmeal the next morning. Easy to make, and so delicious!
1 large vanilla bean
1/4 Cup (60 mL) sugar
2 Cups (480 mL) unpeeled pitted plums, halved (about 1 lb)
1 1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) lemon juice
2 tsp (10 mL) margarine Cut vanilla bean in half, lengthwise. Scrape seeds into a small bowl, discard bean (or place in a container of sugar for very pleasant vanilla-scented sugar). Add sugar to bowl and stir well. Place plums in a 1-quart baking dish; add sugar mixture and lemon juice, tossing gently to coat. Dot with margarine, cover, and bake at 400° F for 20 minutes or until plums are tender, stirring once.
HUNGARIAN PLUM DUMPLINGS
Hungarian plum dumplings - szilvas gomboc - can be eaten as dessert, a meatless main dish, or served as a side dish. Like Polish, Romanian, and Croatian plum dumplings, the dough is made with mashed potatoes. This dough, however, is rolled with a pin rather than forming the dumplings by hand.
5 medium potatoes, peeled, boiled, mashed and cooled
2 large eggs
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
2 1/2 Cups ( 600 mL) all-purpose flour
18 plums, washed and pitted
4 Tbsp (60 mL) butter
1 1/2 Cups (360 mL) very fine bread crumbs
1/4 Cup (60 mL) cinnamon sugar
In a large bowl, combine potatoes, eggs and salt. When well combined, add flour and mix until a soft dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.
Place a large pot of salted water on the stove and bring to boil. Meanwhile, on a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/3 inch and cut into 2-inch squares. Place a plum in the center of each square and fold in half, pressing out all air and sealing the edges. Moisten edges before crimping if necessary to seal. Carefully drop squares into boiling water. Repeat until all are in the water. Cook 30 minutes. Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet, add bread crumbs and brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove dumplings to a colander to drain. Place dumplings in skillet, coating with buttered crumbs. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Delicious, fleshy, succulent plums are low in calories and contain no saturated fats – but they do contain numerous health promoting compounds, minerals, and vitamins.
Compounds present in plums, including dietary fiber, sorbitol, and isatin, are known to help regulate the functioning of the digestive system and are helpful in dealing with constipation.
Fresh plums are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is also a powerful natural antioxidant. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents, counter inflammation, and scavenge harmful free radicals.
Fresh plums, especially the yellow Mirabelle, are a very good source of vitamin A and beta-carotene. Vitamin A is essential for vision. It is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A helps protect against lung and oral cavity cancers.
Plums contain health promoting flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin in significant amounts. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
Plums are rich in minerals like potassium, fluoride, and iron. Iron is required for red blood cell formation. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids, and helps control heart rate and blood pressure.
Plums are rich in B-complex vitamins that help the body metabolize carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Plums also contain vitamin K, essential for blood clotting and bone metabolism. Vitamin K may also help combat Alzheimer's disease in the elderly.