The unbridled joy on his face from feeling the sticky juice trickle down his chin as he bites into his first roasted plum confirms my suspicion; A HOT OVEN WORKS MAGIC ON STONE FRUIT.
Plums, peaches, apricots, mangoes, cherries and nectarine have a large pit in their centre which is why they’re referred to as ‘stone fruit’. Roasting them in a hot oven makes the fruit’s natural sugars dance. The tricky part is allowing the fruit to roast long enough to tasty jammy, but catching it before the flesh falls apart. You want your plum to look like a plum!
There’s a tiny window of opportunity in eastern Canada to eat local stone fruit. We just don’t get enough hot weather. However, every once in a great while, the stars align and send our steadfast farmers with their precious crop to market. When they do, we grab it! One of my families favourite lunches involves any manner and combination of bread, cheese and fruit. Frankly, we’d eat it for breakfast and dinner too, if we had our druthers. Which got me thinking, ‘how about serving a warm, oozy-sweet plum, thyme-infused chevre, crispy bacon topped breakfast crostini.
Proof is in the plum! The combination is sumptuous. It’s important to taste whatever stone fruit you plan on using for your crostini to ensure the sweet content. Plums, peaches, apricots and nectarines all work equally well, but they have to be fully ripe and juicy. No amount of heat will bring a mealy piece of fruit back to life. You can easily serve these crostini as an hors d’oeuvre, but give them a try at breakfast when you want something satisfyingly light.
ROASTED PLUM CROSTINI
Preheat oven 400*F
- 8 ripe plums, halved and pitted – I waited until the plums finished roasting before removing the pit, but before might be easier.
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 ounces soft chevre
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves picked
- 2 slices bacon, crispy and crumbled
- 12 – 16 slices baguette, cut ¼ inch thick
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
- Lightly butter a baking dish just large enough to hold the plum halves in a single layer.
- Arrange the plum halves, cut side up, in the prepared dish.
- Whisk the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice and ground pepper together in a small bowl
- Pour evenly over the plum halves.
- Roast until the plums are warmed through, and the skins are just beginning to wrinkle at the edges, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how ripe your plums are.
- Meanwhile, mash fresh thyme leaves into soft chevre and set aside.
- Remove plums from oven to a cooling rack.
- After the plums have cooled for 10 minutes, carefully lift them to a plate.
- Pour baking liquid into a small pot and place over medium-high heat.
- Reduce the liquid to a quarter. It will become thick and syrupy quickly so watch it carefully.
- Place baguette slices on a hot grill or under your broiler, toasting both sides.
- Remove bread to a platter, rub the cut garlic over the top surface and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
- Divide chevre between the slices of baguette. I like a rustic look so I’m not fussy about how I spread it on – quick and messy!
- Using your hands, tear the plums open and place over chevre.
- Top with bacon crumbles.
- Finish with a drizzle of the reduced balsamic vinegar mixture and freshly ground pepper.
THE LOVE: I think I have another cook in the family!
Thanks for reading.