Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Roasted Plum and Walnut Sundaes

Early in July, my dear friend broke her leg. I'm not talking about a small, clean break, with a few days of pain and a few weeks in a cast. I'm talking about surgery, pins and plates, about weeks of painkillers and not being able to put your foot on the ground for almost three months. That's nearly a whole season of being bedridden. In the beginning, we ate a lot of ice cream.

As far as bedridden summertime consolation prizes go, ice cream is a pretty great one. Over the Summer Of The Tibial Plateau Fracture, I ate ice cream several nights a week. Taste-testing the difference between chocolate gelato (Talenti was the front-runner). Deciding if hot fudge sauce was better over lavender or vanilla ice cream (opinions here were split). Whether cardamom was delicious or "too perfumey" (again, a split decision). It was a delicious way to spend an indoor summer. And I didn't want to give it up just because the season changed.

And so the ice cream continues! But it needed a bit of an autumnal makeover. I grabbed a bag of Italian prune plums, the only fruit that seems to be in season these post-berry/pre-apple days. Eaten out of hand, they're not really my favorite — sweet but unexciting, lacking the punchy tartness of most other plums. But roasted with a bit of sugar and lemon, they slump into rich fuscia sweetness, more complex, more inviting. And they're perfect with vanilla ice cream. Add a sprinkling of walnuts, and it's a perfect autumnal sundae. Even if you've moved out of summer and onto new pursuits (such as re-learning how to walk without crutches), it's still a sweet way to cap off an evening.

Roasted Plum and Walnut Sundaes

serves 4

3/4 pound Italian prune plums
scant 1/4 cup sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
4 scoops vanilla ice cream
1 large handful toasted walnuts

Preheat your oven to 400° Farenheit.

Cut the plums in half, remove the stones, and slice them into quarters. Sprinkle with the sugar and lemon juice, and roast until the plums are soft and somewhat collapsed, and the juices have come out and thickened just slightly, ~20 minutes (the juices will thicken further upon standing, so don't worry too much about that). Remove from the oven, and let cool slightly (lest you melt the ice cream like I did).

Scoop out the ice cream, and top with some of the plums and their juices, and a handful of walnuts. Enjoy.

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