Plum & Chocolate bites
• 30g/1oz butter
• Handful plums, peeled and chopped
• 2 tbsp light brown sugar
• 170g/6oz dark chocolate
• Handful Brazil nuts, chopped (optional)
• 1shot of port & plum juice mixed together
1. Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat. Add the plums and sauté for 2–3 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the sugar and cook until it begins to caramelise. Remove from the heat.
2. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. (Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water.)
3. Stir in the port and plum sauce and the caramelised plums. Spoon the mixture into small petit fours cases, top with brazil nuts if using, and chill until set before eating.
Plum & Ginger trifle
• 400g/14oz fresh plums, stoned
• 200g/7oz caster sugar
• 500g/1lb 2oz ginger cake, cut into chunks
• splash Jamaican rum
• 175g/6oz apricot jam
• 6 free-range egg yolks
• 125g/4oz caster sugar
• 40g/1½oz plain flour
• 400ml/14fl oz whole milk
• 2.5cm/1instem ginger, grated and juiced
• 200ml/7fl oz whipped cream
• 300ml/10½fl oz whipped cream
• 75g/3oz stem ginger in syrup, chopped
• ground cinnamon
1. Heat the plums and sugar in a saucepan until the plums soften. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. For the custard, beat the yolks, sugar and flour together in a bowl. Meanwhile bring the milk and ginger juice up to the boil. Pour the warmed milk onto the egg mixture and beat until well combined.
3. Pour the mixture back into a clean saucepan, and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, cover and chill in the fridge until cold.
4. Fold the cream into the custard until well combined.
5. To assemble the trifle, place the cake chunks in the bottom of a large trifle dish, pour over the rum, spread over a layer of apricot jam and cover with the fruit.
6. Pour the custard over the fruit and top with whipped cream, stem ginger, cinnamon and hundreds and thousands.
Parma ham & mozzarella with plum ginger chutney
• 1 x 150g/5oz ball buffalo mozzarella
• 4 slices parma ham
• 4 tbsp summer harvest rapeseed oil
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tbsp ginger balsamic vinegar
• Plum chutney
• 8 plums, stoned and chopped
• 2 tbsp caster sugar
• 3 tbsp ginger balsamic
• ½ cinnamon stick
• To make the chutney, melt the butter and sauté the plums for 2-3 minutes. Add the sugar and vinegar and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the plums are soft and the sauce is rich and sticky.
• Drain and cut each cheese in half. Wrap each piece in a slice of ham and secure with wooden cocktail sticks.
• Heat half the olive oil in a non-stick pan until very hot. Season the wrapped mozzarella and fry for a few minutes on each side to brown and crisp the ham.
• Place the salad leaves in a bowl with the remaining olive oil, the vinegar and some seasoning, and mix. Divide between two plates in a high pile.
• Remove the mozzarella from the pan once the speck is nice and crisp, and place on top of the salad. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and pour over the juices remaining in the pan. Serve with the mixed leaves and a generous spoonful of plum chutney on the side
Confit duck with damson chutney
• 4 Duck thighs
• ½ tbsp coarse salt
• 1 tsp blackpeppercorns
• 1 tsp coriander
• 5 juniper berries
• 110g/4oz duck or goose fat or lard
• 450g/1lb damsons
• 45g/1½oz Demerara sugar
• 10 juniper berries, crushed
• A good sprig of thyme
1. Dry the duck thighs on kitchen paper. Pound the salt with the peppercorns, coriander seeds and juniper berries until all are roughly crushed. Rub the mixture into the skin of the duck thighs and leave for 1-3 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 130C/250F/Gas 1.
3. Melt the duck or goose fat or lard over a gentle heat. Rinse the duck thighs and pat dry. Place in a close-fitting ovenproof dish. Pour over the melted fat.
4. Cover with foil and cook in the oven, turning the pieces every half hour or so, for about one-and-a-half hours or until thoroughly cooked through and tender.
5. Leave to cool in the fat. If not using immediately, cover with a clean piece of foil and store in the fridge.
6. To make the relish, put the damsons, sugar, juniper and thyme into a heavy-based saucepan and add a dash of water. Place over a moderate heat and cook gently until the juices begin to run.
7. Raise the heat a little and cook, stirring occasionally, until the damsons are tender, having split their skins. Draw off the heat and leave to cool. Store in a covered bowl until needed.
8. To finish the dish, preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
9. Take the pieces of duck out of their cooking fat and lay on a baking tray. Roast for 20-30 minutes until crisp, browned and heated right through.
10. Warm the relish gently and serve with the duck.
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