I love rhubarb. I grew up having it in abundance in the Midwest. People would get excited if they found out you wanted some because then they could give away some of their I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-all-this-rhubarb abundance. Here in North Carolina it does not grow. It is a scarce thing to be treasured. I have two bags of frozen rhubarb in my freezer that have been there for almost a year now and I’ve been too afraid to use them because I keep thinking I have to use them on the perfect dessert for the perfect occasion. They are too valuable to use otherwise. That was my mindset until recently.
What changed? I discovered plums. Wonderfully tart plums that when baked, bake in to soft pockets of jam with none of the rhubarb “stringyness.” Plums are my new rhubarb, at least while living in the South. Here’s what I’ve done with plums so far in the past couple of weeks:
First I made Brown Butter and Plum Tartlettes. The rich nuttiness imparted by the toasted, browned butter paired perfectly with the tart bits of plum. This recipe is definitely a keeper for me.
Next I had to make what I soon discovered to be “The Classic.” Marion Burros‘ Plum Tort. Only I put my own spin on it by taking some of the white flour out and added ground almonds because I desired the rustic taste and texture from the almonds to compliment the plums. This recipe was loved by a book group I brought it too and it is easy-peasy to make.
Most recently I had homemade ricotta on hand so I made a super moist ricotta “cake” that was delicately flavored with a bit of lemon peel. Over this cake I spooned a scarcely sweetened, almost sour, plum compote. The opposite flavor profiles of “subtle on the verge of boring” and “way too lively” married perfectly together and created a dessert that still has my husband raving!
I hope you enjoy and have been inspired!