Saturday, 5 May 2007

To Autumn

Apart from references to Keats, autumn also conjures up memories of rich, warm puddings. To me autumnal desserts are all about intense burgundy colours and deep flavours. Ideally they can be eaten with a spoon curled up in a large armchair. An open fire is welcome but not required.

The roasted plums are heady with the roasting juices of red wine, vanilla and rosemary. While perfect for savoury uses the rosemary here gives the plums a real aromatic hit and makes them taste as flavourful as they should but sadly haven’t this season. They are perfect served with a light cake as in April’s Australian Gourmet Traveler or with slices of sheep's milk cheese on a platter but as usual I wanted something more substantial. With it’s simple flavours and creamy texture the polenta is an ideal accompaniment and deceptively low fat.

This is also my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Pat of Up A Creek Without A PatL

Roasted Red Wine and Rosemary Plums on Creamy Vanilla Polenta

Serves 2

4 red-skinned plums, halved and stoned
4 sprigs rosemary
1 cup red wine
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup polenta
2 cups milk (low fat is fine)
2-3 tbsp sugar
vanilla (a scraped out pod is best)

Preheat oven to 180C/350F. In a medium saucepan heat the red wine, sugar and water with a dash of vanilla. When reduced slightly take off the heat. Place plums skin side up in a roasting pan and pour over red wine syrup. Roast for 20- 25 minutes.

Whisk together the polenta and a little warm water to make a paste. Heat the milk until warm in a saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the polenta, sugar and vanilla. Cook over low heat, whisking continuously until thickened. If the mixture leaves trails as you whisk through, it is probably at the right texture.

Spoon polenta into serving bowls. Top with plums and a little drizzle of syrup. Sift over icing sugar to serve.


Little Foodie said...

Wow! This looks fantastic. I've never had polenta in this way. What beautiful pictures too. Amanda

Ellie said...

Absolutely sensational! Oh, they look divine!

Mel. said...

What a gorgeous deeply rich colour those plums are! Beautiful dish x

Anonymous said...

What's the matter with this year's plums?

Truffle said...

Thanks Little Foodie. It was my first experience of sweet polenta too and I was quite taken with it! Smooth, creamy and comforting.

Thanks so much Ellie. I love food that looks as good as it tastes.

Mel- I find the purple very autumnal although I know stoned fruits aren't really an autumn thing. Thanks very much :)

Anon- I must admit I had some sweet little gems this season but many have been too tart for my taste and lacking in any other flavour. My theory is they haven't spent long enough on the tree. You can also read about how this has been a less than plentiful season here:

Patricia Scarpin said...

Truffle, I already love polenta and now I'm willing to try this version of yours - sounds delicious!

Lucy said...

Gorgeous dish, Truffle. And you're so right - the plums haven't been sweet enough this year.

Great sweet polenta idea!

Freya and Paul said...

I am thrilled about the recipe for sweet polenta! Brilliant!

Brooke said...

I would never have thought to use polenta in a dessert, but this looks yummy. I love poached fruit! Nice post :)

Truffle said...

Thanks so much Patricia. I hope you enjoy!

Lucy- thanks very much. Hopefully winter brings some better produce.

Freya and Paul- thanks for the lovely comment. I think I almost prefer it to the savoury version.

Thanks Brooke. I like poached fruit too and it's nice having something different to serve it with.

mellie said...

Oh absolutely outstanding dish!

Kalyn said...

What a wonderful idea. I love the sound of roasted plums. I think plums are fantastic tasting, but I do sometimes have a hard time finding good ones here too.

Truffle said...

Thanks for the kind words Mellie :)

Kalyn- I feel the same way about tomatoes too. Lately they have been lacking flavour. Thanks for hosting such a wonderful event.