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Roasted plums with cookie topping

These roasted plums combine wonderful Nordic plums with Italian simplicity

Roasted plums with cookie topping

Roasted plums with cookie topping.

These roasted plums must be the easiest and best dessert I can think of. They combine wonderful Nordic plums with Italian flair for cooking.

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It has always puzzled me when people say they do not know how to make desserts. Or even worse, they do not like desserts. I cannot imagine life without desserts. I cannot imagine a good meal without a sweet ending. It does not have to be something advanced. I will be happy as a kid with a small cookie or some fruit and ice on my plate. Or even better, all of them.

Ingenious simplicity

Like I love dessert, I love Italian food. Though I love Italian food, for long their desserts disappointed me. I have always rated Italian desserts as quite poor compared to French or American desserts, but that has changed. Italian desserts may be easy, but it is the simplicity that makes them ingenious. The tiramisu with its coffee liquor, egg yolk-cream and lady fingers. The panna cotta with its cooked cream and vanilla. Or the magnificent semifreddo which is a whole lot easier to make than classic ice cream. Though easy to make they rival the best desserts in the kitchen.

Roasted plums with ice cream and plum juice from the oven tray

Roasted plums with ice cream and plum juice from the oven tray.

Easy and versatile dessert

There is a dessert even easier which I discovered in an Italian cookbook, roasted figs with biscotti. Here the figs are roasted in the oven with a topping made of biscotti crumbs, cream, sugar and lemon peel. It is just as easy as it is adorable. 15 minutes to make. 15 minutes in the oven. It is a promise from me to you.

Roasted plums is also a versatile dessert. Use your best homegrown ingredients to make it. In August-September plums are abundant in Norway, so I substitute the Italian figs and biscotti with Norwegian plums and biscuits (havreflarn). You can also use peaches and oatmeal cookies.

Love your leftovers

I used to throw away lots of food or put it in the freezer. Sometimes my freezer was crowded with ten different cakes, most of them dying a slow and cold death, never to be eaten no more than once. Today I try to be more conscientious and utilise my leftovers. Leftovers are the hidden treasures in a chef’s pantry. I always keep leftover cookies in my pantry as a result of my penchant for venturing into new cooking projects. But instead of ending in the garbage, my old cookies come in handy in new desserts. For this recipe my old oatmeal biscuits are perfect with tender and juicy plums.

Roasted plums

Roasted plums with cookie topping (makes 3-4):

7 small plums (the plums should be slightly firm and not overripe)
50 g / 1,8 oz cookies, preferably oatmeal cookies (or havreflarn)
1 tbsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1 tsp (white) sugar
25 ml / 0,8 oz heavy cream (light cream will also do)
1 organic lemon

I add palm sugar because it is healthier than white refined sugar and has a rich caramel flavour.

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Divide the plums into half and remove the stone carefully. Arrange them skin down in a baking tray.

2. For the topping: Put the oatmeal cookies in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling-pin or your hands. Mix the crumbs together with the sugar, cream and zest of one lemon.

3. Squeeze some lemon juice on the plums and then, with a teaspoon, place the topping on each plum.

4. Bake for about 15 minutes in the middle of the oven. Use a spoon to check if the plums are finished. They should be soft but still hold their shape.

More Italian desserts?

Tiramisu (gluten-free)
Panna cotta with strawberries