Each year we travel to the small country town of Stanthorpe to celebrate the New Year with our dear friends Ewen and Elissa. They own a vineyard and winery and our time there is spent eating beautiful food and drinking their wonderful wines, laughing at anything and everything and talking about the things that really matter. The area where they live is also well known for its orchards of plums, nectarines, cherries and peaches and they are blessed with generous neighbours who provide them with boxes of fruit from their trees each summer. These sticky baked plums are gently roasted in the oven after being drenched in a simple mixture of brown sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. They are soft and tart-sweet and their juices are a stunning deep ruby red. We ate them for dessert on New Year’s Day with toasted panettone and greek yoghurt, as we sat on the verandah overlooking the vines. Bliss!
1 kg plums
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
Preheat oven to 150 C. Carefully cut the plums in half and remove the stones. Place the plums, cut side up, in a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Mix together the lemon juice, brown sugar and vanilla paste and pour over the plums. Place in the oven and bake for 20 – 30 minutes, or until the plums are soft and the pan juices syrupy. Serve them warm or cool. They taste great with greek yoghurt and toasted brioche or panettone.