Drying stonefruit is another great way of preserving summer flavours. Sugarplum slice is a simple, delicious way to use dried plums – perfect for dessert or lunchboxes.
We are lucky enough to have quite a few fruit trees in our garden – and every bird in the Onkaparinga Valley knows about them and seems to enjoy eating them green so, unless we net them, we don’t usually get much from them. However, the one thing I guard jealously and look forward to every year is our Satsuma plums – and the Upside-down Plum Cake I make using them. This year I’ve added a Sugarplum slice to my baking repertoire – it’s a little bit tart, and a little bit sweet, and a whole lot delicious.
Our Satsuma tree fruits heavily and there’s always plenty for us, the neighbours and the birds – although last year was very dry. With less other feed about for them, the birds swooped in one Saturday and took the lot when they were rock hard and green. Bastards.
I think stone fruit is one of the major joys of summer eating, but when you’re growing them, it can be a bit of a challenge to use them up before they rot – and there’s only so much in the way of fruity fibre that our digestive systems will comfortably cope with, so we need to get creative. 😉
Besides several bakes of the plum cake, I usually make a batch or two of plum jam with our haul. We’re still well sorted for jam in our house, so this year I dusted a couple of trays of the halved and stoned fruit with caster sugar and the Gewurhaus truly divine blend of mixed spice and roasted them, popping them into the freezer, to save for a burst of summer later in the year.
With another 1/2 bucket to use up, I unearthed the dehydrator from it’s pantry hidey-hole and dried a big batch too. Of course, then I had to come up with a way to use the dried plums.
Hence this Sugarplum slice recipe!
As you’ve probably come to expect from me, my Sugarplum slice recipe is simple, delicious and utterly variable, depending on what dried fruit you have to hand. I think it would be divine with dried apricots, and even more fabulous with dried peaches and a big glug of bourbon. It’s wickedly buttery and perfect for the kids lunchboxes – or with a big dollop of thick cream, for dessert.
So drag out your food processor and give it a go. If you get around to trying any variations, I’d love to hear what you think of them!
- Food processor
- 200 gms plain flour
- 120 gms caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 115 gms cold butter, cubed
- 160 gms caster sugar
- 120 gms dried plums
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 orange, juiced
- 1 orange, zest only
- 1/4 cup course sugar
- Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line 26x17cm slice tray.
- Add all the base ingredients to food processor, pulse until the mixture resembles course crumbs.
- Reserve 3/4 cup of the mixture. Press the rest into the prepared tray and bake for 15 minutes.
- Add all topping ingredients to processor. Pulse until the plums are finely chopped and the mixture is well combined.
- Pour over the hot base mix, sprinkle with remaining flour mixture, then with the course sugar.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned and the topping looks set.
- Cool completely in tray, before removing and slicing into bars.