A decadent treat that showcases plump autumnal plums perfectly
FOR THE SHORTBREAD:
• 225g unsalted organic butter
• 100g golden caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
• 225g plain flour
• 100g cornflour
• 1 tsp fine sea salt
FOR THE PLUMS:
• 8 large ripe plums (plus a few more if small)
• Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
• 2 tbsp honey
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• Crème fraîche, to serve
1. Preheat oven to 150°C/140ºC fan/ gas mark 2.
2. To make the shortbread, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the flours and salt and bring together with your fingertips.
3. Tip into a 23cm flan or Swiss roll tin and press into the sides. Prick all over with a fork. Bake for 45-50 mins until pale golden.
4. Sprinkle lightly with more sugar and cut into eight triangles (flan tin) or fingers (Swiss roll tin). Leave for 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
5. Increase oven temperature to 180°C/170ºC fan/gas mark 4.
6. Halve the plums and remove the stones, then place cut side up in a baking dish.
7. Mix the orange juice and honey and pour over the plums. Sprinkle with cinnamon and orange zest and bake for 20-30 mins. Serve with the shortbread and crème fraîche.
Recipe and imagery courtesy of Riverford, who deliver organic veg boxes and other organic produce throughout Wales and the Borders and beyond. www.riverford.co.uk
Tanners’ wine buff Tiffany Vernon has a duo of delicious (and delightfully different) tipples to complement this issue’s Galloping Gourmet.
Ordinarily my go-to tipple to pair with shortbread is a good cup of English Breakfast tea. That being said, I don’t usually have shortbread combined with roasted plums – certainly not something I’d considered before, but absolutely scrumptious!
If you feel like indulging in something more than a cuppa (and why shouldn’t you?), my first recommendation is a white TIPPLE wine. Vouvray, Clos le Vigneau, Château Gaudrelle (£15.80) is a Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley in France.
While you could pair a sweet wine with this recipe, I personally think a drink on the drier side complements the buttery richness of the shortbread better and doesn’t overpower the dish. This wine is made from late-harvest grapes, giving a little more sweetness and concentration of its flavours, consisting of ripe apples and pears accompanied by honeyed undertones.
Alternatively, opt for Foxdenton Winslow Plum Gin Liqueur (£24.50), which is made by the talented folks at Foxdenton Distillery, using juicy Winslow plums from Herefordshire and Shropshire.
Aromas are slightly spirity with a sweet plum fragrance and herbal twist. In the mouth it’s a little drier than expected but all the better for it – this isn’t cloying or syrupy but light, fruity and flavoursome.
I enjoyed my shortbread with a little tot of this, but for extra pizzazz why not try this plum gin liqueur in a glass of Cava or Champagne? The toasty, brioche character of the fizz would be a fab match to the buttery shortbread while adding a touch of glamour, too!
Prices subject to changes in duty. Tanners Wine Merchants have branches throughout the Welsh Borders, in Shrewsbury, Hereford, Chester, Bridgnorth and Welshpool. Tel: 01743 234500. www.tanners-wines.co.uk