Ever notice that some of those peaches, apricots, and to a lesser extent plums, you buy in the supermarket never seem to ripen properly – no matter how long you leave them. Well I was getting pretty tired of this and looked around for something to do with them. Rooting around in the kitchen presses, I found some Manuka honey that had gone too thick to spread on bread. And in the garden, we have a most prodigious rosemary bush. So an idea was born.
I mixed four tablespoons of honey with an equal quantity of water and dissolved in a small pot over a medium heat with a nice sprig of rosemary and splash of balsamic vinegar. After the syrup had thickened a little, I turned off the heat and left the pot to one side to infuse. A punnet of fruit was stoned, cut into halves and placed in a lightly buttered ovenproof dish. Pour over the syrup, after first removing the rosemary sprig, and pop into an oven preheated to 200°C. After about half an hour you have a wonderful dessert, which you can serve with a dollop of cream, yoghurt, etc.
This works really well with apricots and peaches. With red plums you can add a twist. Proceed as above but keep back a couple of tablespoons of the syrup. Melt about 25g of the good dark chocolate and stir in the syrup. Add this to the plums about halfway through cooking. Absolutely heavenly.