Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Yum Plum!

If you live anywhere similar to us, you will be seeing an explosion of plums on trees and trug-fulls of yummy plums being traded around the neighbourhood at the moment! If you want to grow plums, my latest blog gives you a few tips along with a lovely cake recipe to put them into if you have any left over...

Our tree, laden with plums!



Plum Facts

They are super easy to grow and reward you with a large crop of juicy plums, perfect for eating straight off the tree or for making jams, cakes and desserts, yum!


Literally any garden can fit a plum tree. The trick is to carefully choose your root stock so you get one that will suit your size. Any good garden centre (or clever gardeners like Vialii) can advise what variety to choose. You can also grow them as standards or espaliers (along a wall) if that suits your garden better.


If you only have space for one plum tree, make sure it is self-fertile in order to get fruit. 



Once the fruit has set on your tree, it's best to thin them out to avoid congestion and allow the ones left to grow big and healthy (and not overload the poor tree!)




You should only ever prune your plum tree (or a cherry tree) in Summer to avoid the risk of Silver Leaf infection or bacterial canker.




So, now you know lots about plums you will soon have soooo many you won't know what to do with them all! One of the things we like to do is bake (and eat!) cakes so why not try out this recipe from the clever people at BBC Good Food...



Ingredients:

  • 175g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 500g plums
  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 175g ground hazelnuts
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa), chopped
  • 2 tbsp hazelnuts
  • 2 tbsp redcurrant, damson or plum jelly



To make:

1. Ask a grown up to heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. 

2. Butter and line the base of a round 20cm cake tin. 

3. Halve and stone 4 plums, set aside for later, then roughly chop the remaining plums.

Carefully chop up your plums with a responsible
adult (or a Daddy if you can't find one!)

3. Put the sugar, butter, flour, ground hazelnuts, eggs and baking powder into a large bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or electric hand mixer for 1-2 mins, until smooth and light. 

Beat your eggs up

4. Stir in the chopped plums and chocolate, then tip into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top.

5. Arrange the halved plums over the top of the mixture, pressing them down lightly, then scatter over hazelnuts. 

Squidge in the plums and hazelnuts

6. Bake for 40-50 mins until the top is golden and the cake feels firm to the touch. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out, remove the paper and cool on a wire rack. 

7. Heat the jelly, then brush over the top of the cake before serving.

Wow, awesome isn't it?

And there you have it. Yum Plum!

Hugs & kisses,

Lulu xx