February 16 - 22, 2020: Issue 438


Summer Plums

Prunus domestica 'Reine Victoria' - photo by Rasbak
Summer plums are appearing in local shops which means the crop is coming in and guarantees good prices and great quality. Plums may have been one of the first fruits domesticated by humans. Three of the most abundant cultivars are not found in the wild, only around human settlements: Prunus domestica has been traced to East European and Caucasian mountains, while Prunus salicina and Prunus simonii originated in Asia. 

The name plum derived from Old English plume or "plum, plum tree," which extended from Germanic language or Middle Dutch, and Latin prūnum, from Ancient Greek proumnon, believed to be a loanword from Asia Minor. In the late 18th century, the word, plum, was used to indicate "something desirable", probably in reference to tasty fruit pieces in desserts.

Plum cultivars include:
  • Damson (purple or black skin, green flesh, clingstone, astringent)
  • Greengage (firm, green flesh and skin even when ripe)
  • Mirabelle (dark yellow, predominantly grown in northeast France)
  • Satsuma plum (firm red flesh with a red skin)
  • Victoria (yellow flesh with a red or mottled skin)
  • Yellowgage or golden plum (similar to greengage, but yellow)
Although they are simply divine eaten fresh but just in case you manage to get your hands on a large amount, or would like to adapt some of the other yummy plums currently in season, a few plum recipes, also quite traditional:

Plum and rosemary jam
4 lemons
8 just-ripe plums, halved, stoned, coarsely chopped
2 just-ripe white nectarines, stoned, coarsely chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, seeds reserved, coarsely chopped
3 cups (660g) white sugar
4 sprigs rosemary, rinsed

Cut the lemons in half. Juice the lemons, reserving the seeds. (You will need 3/4 cup lemon juice for this recipe).
Place the lemon juice, reserved seeds, plum, nectarine, apple and 8 cups (2L)water in a large saucepan. Place over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
Line a large colander with 2 large pieces of muslin or clean kitchen wipes. Place over a large bowl. Spoon the plum mixture into the colander. Set aside for 6 hours to drain.
Place liquid in a saucepan. Add the sugar and rosemary. Place over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 mins or until sugar completely dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, skimming the surface occasionally of any scum that rises to the top, for 1 hour or until jelly reaches setting point (or 105C on a sugar thermometer).
Remove from heat and set aside for 5 mins to cool slightly. Pour evenly among sterilised jars. Seal and turn upside down for 2 mins. Turn upright. Set aside to cool completely.
Serve with roasted meats or as part of a cheese platter.

Plum Tart
100g butter, softened
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
1 Free Range Egg
1 Free Range Egg yolk
1 cup (120g) almond meal
1/4 cup (35g) plain flour
6 assorted plums, stoned, cut into wedges
Icing sugar, to serve
Double cream, to serve

Shortcrust Pastry 
1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour
1/3 cup (55g) icing sugar
125g chilled butter, chopped
1 Free Range Egg yolk

Make the shortcrust pastry; process the flour, icing sugar and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and 2 tsp chilled water. Process until dough just comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a disc. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 mins to chill.

Preheat oven to 200C. Grease the base and side of a 22cm fluted tart tin with removable base. Roll dough out to a 3mm-thick disc on a lightly floured surface. Line the prepared pan with the pastry. Use a small sharp knife to trim the excess pastry. Place in the fridge for 15 mins to chill.

Line pastry with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or beans. Bake for 10 mins. Remove paper and weights. Bake for a further 10 mins or until light golden. Reduce oven to 180C.

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the egg and egg yolk and beat to combine. Add the almond meal and flour and stir to combine. Spread the mixture evenly over the base of the pastry case.

Arrange the plum wedges over the filling. Bake for 30 mins or until golden and the filling is set. Set aside in the pan to cool completely.

Transfer the tart to a serving plate. Dust with icing sugar and serve with double cream.

Fish - with plums
Recipe from Better Health Channel - Victorian Government
500 g white fish fillets (flathead or snapper
canola or olive oil spray
4 medium ripe plums
2 tablespoons redcurrant jam
2 tablespoons salt reduced teriyaki sauce

Marinate white fish fillets in teriyaki sauce for 15 minutes. Spray non-stick frypan with oil spray and pan-fry fish until just cooked.
Remove and keep warm.

Slice plums thickly, spray non-stick frypan with oil spray and fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the redcurrant jelly and heat for 1 to 2 minutes.

Place fish on serving plate and spoon plum sauce over the fish. Serve.

Plum Pancakes
255g (1 3/4 cups) self-raising flour
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
2 eggs
375ml (1 1/2 cups) buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 orange, zested
60g butter, melted,
100g butter, chopped
Maple Plums
8 plums, halved, stoned
110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
1 orange, zested, juiced
125ml (1/2 cup) maple syrup

Preheat oven to 180C. To make orange maple plums, line a small oven tray with baking paper, extending paper slightly up sides of tray. Top with plums, flesh-side up. Scatter with sugar and orange zest, then drizzle with orange juice. Bake for 15 minutes or until plums are tender. Cut plums into quarters and set aside. Pour cooking juices into a small jug and combine with maple syrup.

Reduce oven to 160C. To make pancakes, line an oven tray with baking paper. Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt into a bowl. Place eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, orange zest and 60g melted butter in a second bowl and whisk to combine. Pour wet mixture onto dry mixture and whisk until smooth. (Once wet and dry mixtures are combined, the raising agents are immediately activated, so cook pancakes straight away.)

Melt 10g butter in a non-stick frying pan over low–medium heat. Pour slightly less than 1/3 cup batter into pan, then, using the back of a spoon, spread to a 12cm round.

Cook for 2 minutes or until bubbles appear on surface. Using a spatula, flip and cook for a further 30 seconds or until lightly browned underneath. Transfer to oven tray and keep warm in oven. Wipe pan clean. Repeat with remaining butter and batter. 

Stack 2–3 pancakes on each plate, top with plums, then drizzle with orange maple syrup to serve.

Recipe Ideas - Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

Apricot - January Summer Fruits  

Artichoke – The Flower Vegetable that Crops in Spring  

Australian and Native Cherries (Summer Fruits) - the Duntroon Connection - Marrianne Collinson Campbell 

Autumn is Apple Season 

Autumn Feast of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for a Healthy Body

Broccoli - Early Spring Crop

Beetroot: Summer Vegetables 

Cabbage - Winter Food 

Cherry - Australian summer Fruit 

Chick Pea Burgers with Homemade Hummus 

Classic Spring Trifles

Classic Winter Soups

Easter Feast - modern and historic  

Edible Weeds  Eggs: Five Ways - Savoury 

Fennel - Winter Vegetable  

Full Fruit Bowl for Seasonal Health

Figs - Late Summer Fruit  

Fresh Herbs for Health

Green Beans - Spring Vegetables

Healthful Cordials And Cleansing Tonics  Hogmanay (New Year) Dinner - Australian Style  Home Grown Food Program in Fruit and Veg Month by Jess Rosman  Honey, Honey: Inaugural World Bee Day - Honey Cake Recipes Around the World

Kale: for Pure Energy  Kale, Ricotta And Chicken Cannelloni

Make Your Own Treats For Christmas Gifts - Jaffa Rum Balls, White Christmas, Gingerbread People, Spicy Nut Mix, Strawberries Dipped in Christmas, Scottish Shortbread, Spanish Polverones, Melomakarona (Greek Christmas Honey Cookies), Kourabiedes (Greek Butter Biscuits), Italian Lemon Shortbread Squares (Shortbread con crema al limone)

Mandarins Spring Fruits  Mandarins Winter Fruits  

Mangoes - Summer Fruits  

Mother's Day at Breakfast Menu for those who 'can't cook'

Mums Vegetable Soup with Macaroni 

Mushrooms Autumnal Shifts

Nectarines - Summer crop 

Nicoise Salad: An Autumn Salad

Old Australian Chocolates Back On The Market: The Cherry Ripe Song of MacRobertsons

Packham's Triumph Pears - The Australian Pear  

Parsnip - Winter Vegetables  Pear - Autumn Fruits  

Perfect Summer Picnics  

Potato Gnocchi    Pumpkin  Pumpkin Season 2015

Sage - the 'saving' herb Remembrance Day 2012 Food  

Self-Saucing Winter Puddings  

Sensational Hot Scones For Cold Winter Mornings

Silverbeet - Winter Vegetable  

Spring Salad Season  Spring Strawberries Spring Salads  

Sugar Free Halloween

Summer Lilli Pillis  Summer Passionfruit  Summer Peaches, Quandongs (Wild Peach) - Marian Rowan Ellis Summer Peaches - From Wyong! Summer Plums - Greengages

Summer Raspberries Native Ones - Adam Forster

Ten Minute Spring SaladsSpring Fare 

The Food of Love  Tomato 

Vegetable Bhaji

Winter Crops Winter Vegetable Pies   Zucchini Strawberries  Cauliflower

Pittwater Restaurants, Cafés and Bistros

Alma Restaurant Avalon 

Avalon Chinese Restaurant 

Avalon on the Beach Kiosk

Barrenjoey House: Winter 2017

Café Edelweiss and the German Butchery at Bassett Street: Mona Vale  Caffeine Villains - Newport

Club Palm Beach: Fish Fridays

Cranky Fins Holidae Inn  

Cranzgot's Pizza Cafe

Duck Creek Macadamias - Orange Obsessions

Flannerys Organic & Wholefoods Market - Mona Vale

Home Grown Food Program in Fruit and Veg Month by Jess Rosman

Japanese Cuisine in Avalon: Four Options

Laurie Bimson's Marinated Kangaroo Recipe  

Lobster Nights at Club Palm Beach

Marina Café: Church Point - within The Quays Marina at Church Point

Mekong: Merchants of Taste - Vietnamese street food Avalon Beach

Mekong Merchant Restaurants In Mona Vale And Avalon Beach: Pho Specialists!

Modus Operandi Brewing Co., Brilliant Beers, Beautiful Burgers in Mona Vale

Palm Beach Fish and Chips Tops Scale at 10  

Parkview Restaurant: Avalon Beach RSL Club

Pasadena Pantry & Fresh

Prontos Creative Food - Palm Beach  Pronto Creative Food Celebrates 30 Years - Palm Beach Success Story for Local Lady  Pronto Creative Food: Something Sweet

Riva Bar and Kitchen - Avalon Beach  Riva Bar And Kitchen Autumn Lunch May 2019

RMYC Function Food at Rotary Club of Pittwater 52nd Changeover Dinner  

RMYC Ladies Lunch for July(2012); 'Boosting Your Brain and turning Your Stress Into Success' by Dr. Helena Popovic

Rozana Mediterranean Cuisine - Avalon Beach

Salt Cove at RMYC Broken Bay Sky Thai Avalon  Sushi Ichiri

The 2107 Restaurant - Avalon

The Avalon On The Beach Restaurant and Kiosk Opens in Avalon Beach SLSC clubhouse  

The Balcony Room at Palm Beach Golf Club

The Chick'n Shack Café at Careel Bay - For Lovers Of Old School Burgers and New School Ways

The Little Oak Tree Cafe at Careel Bay Shops

Waterfront Cafe - Church Point

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