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HomeU.S.ANigel Slater’s recipes for pork chops with chilli-plum jam, and plum and...

Nigel Slater’s recipes for pork chops with chilli-plum jam, and plum and almond pie

Tright here was no signal of dessert. (I’m going again a bit now.) We seemed anxiously at each other, questioning if our hosts had forgotten, or had been about to convey out a plate of cheese. Immediately our host stood up, slipped out into the backyard and returned with a tree department that he flopped, virtually matter-of-factly on the eating desk. Hidden among the many leaves had been plums, each barely greater than a blackbird’s egg, gold, freckled with rust and as candy as honey. I can not keep in mind a extra interesting pudding. I couldn’t bear to ask if the department was a little bit of unseasonal pruning or a spur of the second factor. No matter, it was a second of genius.

The season for plums is brief and valuable, the out-of-season selection being virtually inedible until you cook dinner them. The plum, just like the fig, is a fruit on which to gorge. However in contrast to figs, they’re comparatively low-cost, most likely as a result of the outlets must get them offered. Any that fail to ripen, as is sometimes the case, may be baked with just a little honey or sugar, or dropped at a sloppy jam on the hob, both with sugar or, as I did this week, pomegranate molasses, brown sugar and chilli flakes. A hot-sweet-tart accompaniment by which to dip a pork chop or a rib. (We additionally used it with thick slices of blue cheese, which was each dazzling and extraordinary.)

Plum pie is what you make when the plums are low-cost. Jam when there’s a glut, which you’re solely more likely to expertise you probably have your personal tree or a benevolent and beneficiant neighbour. The juice that’s so welcome in a plum crumble may be one thing of a nuisance in a pie – apt to make your backside crust as soggy as a shower sponge. I get spherical this by tossing the stoned fruit with a mix of jam and floor almonds earlier than piling them on to the pastry. Cooking the pie on a scorching baking sheet will assist, too.

Grilled pork chops, chilli-plum jam

Proper now, with the primary plums showing within the outlets, I’ll both make a salad of them to accompany a plate of pork from the grill (a light-weight sprinkling of pink wine vinegar, walnut oil and a scattering of sesame seeds) or this mildly scorching, considerably addictive jam. Serves 4

pork steaks or chops 4 x 250g
groundnut or olive oil 1 tbsp
sage leaves 1 tsp, chopped
salt and black pepper

For the chilli plum jam:
plums 10, medium sized
garlic 1 clove, flattened with a heavy weight
tender brown sugar 35g
chilli flakes 1 tsp
pomegranate molasses 3 tbsp
lemon juice 1 tbsp
sherry vinegar 2 tbsp

Reduce the plums in half and take away their stones. Reduce every half in 2, then put in a nonstick saucepan with the clove of garlic, sugar, chilli and molasses and convey to the boil. Depart to simmer for 7-10 minutes, with the occasional stir, till the plums are tender sufficient to crush with a fork, then take away from the warmth. Stir within the lemon juice and the vinegar, add a beneficiant seasoning of salt then put aside. The jam will preserve in a lidded container within the fridge for a number of days.

To cook dinner the chops, first brush them with just a little groundnut or olive oil. Utilizing a pestle and mortar, grind collectively some salt and pepper, add the sage leaves, then season the pork. Warmth a griddle pan, add the pork and press down firmly with a heavy weight. Depart to cook dinner for 5-6 minutes, then flip, repeat and cook dinner for an extra couple of minutes till the pork fats is golden and the flesh inside is juicy and nonetheless be barely pink inside. Serve with the plum sauce.

Plum and almond pie

‘The plum is a fruit on which to gorge’: plum and almond pie. {Photograph}: Jonathan Lovekin/The Observer

A recipe that will even work with apricots and peaches. In case your plums are unripe, then it’s most likely finest to cook dinner them just a little earlier than placing them into the pastry-lined tin. A couple of minutes in a shallow pan with just a little sugar ought to assist. Add the bottom almonds as soon as the fruit is tender.

For the pastry:
plain flour 250g
butter 125g
icing sugar 50g
milk 2-3 tbsp and just a little further

For the filling:
plums 1 kg
floor almonds 75g
plum jam 5 tbsp
lemon zest of 1

To complete:
egg 1, overwhelmed
milk 1 tbsp
flaked almonds 2 tbsp

Additionally, you will want a shallow-sided tart tin measuring roughly 24cm in diameter.

Make the pastry: put the flour in a big bowl, lower the butter into cube and add to the flour, then rub the butter into the flour together with your fingertips. Alternatively, use a meals processor. Stir within the icing sugar and sufficient milk to convey to a clean, rollable dough. End up on to a calmly floured board and knead briefly till you’ve got ball. Reduce into 2 halves, one barely greater than the opposite. Roll the bigger of the two and match it into the tart tin and its rim, urgent the pastry gently into the tin and patching any holes as obligatory. Depart within the fridge to relaxation. Wrap the remaining pastry in parchment and chill within the fridge.

Halve and stone the plums. Reduce every half into 4 slices, then toss with the almonds and jam. Finely grate the lemon zest and add to the plums.

Take away the pastry case from the fridge, then spoon within the plum and almond filling. On a calmly floured board, roll out the remaining pastry to a rectangle to suit the highest of the pie. Brush the rim of the pastry case with just a little milk and decrease the lid into place, urgent the perimeters collectively to seal within the fruit. Relaxation the pie within the fridge for 20 minutes. Place an empty baking sheet within the oven to warmth up (you’ll bake the tart on this.) Preheat the oven to 200C/gasoline mark 6. Brush the pastry calmly with the egg and milk and scatter with the flaked almonds, then bake for 40 minutes till golden brown.

I wish to take away the pie from the oven after half-hour, sprinkle it with just a little caster sugar and return it to the oven for 10 minutes or till golden. If it seems to be darkening greater than you prefer to, lay a chunk of foil loosely over the floor.

Comply with Nigel on Twitter @NigelSlater

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