Tuesday, July 17, 2012

time for plum cobbler?

it is plum week at summerfest.  perfect timing because i have been buying bushels of this delicious fruit at our napa farmers' market the past few weeks.  o.k., bushels may be a slight exaggeration...let's just say bagfuls.  i am particularly fond of the bera farms booth at the market.  michelle and her team grow heirloom and vintage varieties of summer fruit which are impossible to find in a regular market.  often, heirloom fruits and vegetables are more delicious than regular versions...but, because they ripen faster and are more fragile, they don't travel well.

 a few weeks ago they had blenheim apricots...so sweet, you must try them next year if you can find them...they are already out of season. i was buying a bagful and michelle, the owner, looked at me and asked "do you make jam?" i laughed (since that is what i do for a living) and said yes. she handed me 20 lbs of blenheim apricots and said "here...these are too ripe to sell and if you don't take them they will go to the compost bin". take them i did...jars of jam and many apricot crisps later i still did not get my fill.

now plums are in season and, once again, there are vintage and heirloom varieties available.  last week i started buying the red santa rosa and the green shiro varieties.  they are both so amazingly sweet and delicious.  i have been adding them to my smoothies, oatmeal, salads and just eating out of hand as snacks all day long.
two weeks ago, i had a impromptu pool party.  i wanted to serve something not-too-sweet, but delicious for dessert.  i had loads of plums and the ingredients to make this plum cobbler. it was a hit and, served with coconut milk vanilla ice cream, was perfect for a hot summer day.
most of the time i make my cobblers by topping lightly sweetened fruit with drops of biscuit batter and bake until the biscuits are golden brown and the fruit softened and bubbly.  this time i adapted an old martha stewart recipe which calls for a cake type batter being spooned into the baking pan and then topping the batter with fruit.  when you bake it the batter puffs up and covers most of the fruit....some still stays on top.   really, really good!

martha's version calls for white flour and sugar, whole milk and butter.  i wanted a more healthy version...less sweet, full of fiber...just as good.  impossible?  try this version and see for yourself.  i used a combination of almond flour (for the nutty taste) and spelt flour (for the fiber, nutrients, taste and easy to digest properties).  i cut the sugar in half and, to make it even healthier, used coconut sugar instead of cane.  coconut sugar has a very low glycemic index (GI) and is high in micronutrients.  i am on a mission to cut white sugar from my diet so it has been a lifesaver to have discovered coconut sugar. but i still use it sparingly...dessert is a special treat in our house.   so healthy flours, healthier sugar...tons of fruit...yeah!! a delicious dessert i can feel good about serving...  enjoy!

plum cobbler
1 c. almond flour
2 cups spelt flour
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp salt
1/2 lb vegan butter (or regular butter)
1 cup coconut milk (fresh, not canned)
2 large organic eggs
3 tbsp coconut rum (or regular rum, or just increase the coconut milk by 2 tbsp)
3 lbs plums (i like using a mixture of red and green) pitted and cut in half
1/4 cup corn starch
2 tbsp coconut sugar
juice from 1/2 lemon (meyer if possible)

preheat oven to 375 degrees.  butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish and set aside.  in a medium sized bowl, whisk together the almond flour, spelt flour, 3/4 cup coconut sugar, baking powder cinnamon and salt.  in a separate small bowl add the butter and melt in the microwave. whisk in the milk.  when the butter mixture is lukewarm, add the eggs & rum and lemon juice; whisk all ingredients together until the eggs are incorporated into the mixture.  pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk together until just mixed.   pour into prepared baking dish.

add the plums to the now empty  medium bowl.  sprinkle the cornstarch, remaining coconut sugar and lemon juice over the plums and stir to mix.  spoon plums evenly over batter in baking dish.  place in oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown, the plums are bubbling and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

let sit for at least 20 minutes to allow filling to set.  serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or cream. (we ice cream made with coconut milk and sweetened with agave.  the so delicious brand is amazing)

now it is your turn to participate in summer fest. simply leave your plum tip or recipe or favorite links in the comments below, and then go visit food network and do the same same.   be sure to check out these delicious sounding recipes from the other participating bloggers:
Ingredients, Inc.: Pork, Plums and Rosemary Kabobs
Virtually Homemade: Grilled Plum Pizza With Goat Cheese Cooking Channel: Best Plum Dessert Recipes
BGSK: Grandma Esther's Plum and Walnut Cake
Delicious Lean: Plum Delicious Pork Chops
Daily*Dishin: Roasted Chicken With Plum Chili Salsa
Healthy Eats: 6 Ways to Cook With Plums
Thursday Night Dinner: Plum BBQ Chicken
From My Corner of Saratoga: Plum Upside Down Cake
Cooking With Elise: Vanilla Plum Tart
Sweet Life Bake: Plum Pineapple Margarita
And Love It Too: Plum Pickin' Pineapple Jam
FN Dish: Perfect Plum Recipes

napa farmhouse 1885

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Elena@body cleansing said...

Plum cobbler sounds absolutely delicious. I should definitely try to make it this weekend. Your pictures look fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

Elena with http://www.happy-healthy-successful.com

Elise Johnson said...

Oh, Diane...that cobbler! : -) and I love the nutty flavor of almond flour!

napa farmhouse 1885 said...

thanks elena, i hope you do make the cobbler this weekend. enjoy and please let me know how it turns out...

napa farmhouse 1885 said...

thanks elise...i am having fun participating in summerfest with some of my favorite bloggers...like you :)