This is such a simple dish – shortbread dough pastry with plums arranged on top – but the cooking brings out the flavour of the plums and makes for an extra tasty afternoon tea.
This recipe is adapted from Diana Henry’s ‘Roast Figs, Sugar Snow’, one of my favourite cookbooks and a fantastic source for unusual autumn and winter recipes.
200g plain flour
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, Gas Mark 4. Line a 30 by 20 cm baking tray.
Rub the flour into the butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Mix in the sugar and salt, then add the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Keep stirring until you get a ball of pastry - you may need to add a drop of cold water. Wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge.
Meanwhile, halve and stone the plums, quartering any large ones. Press the cooled pastry into the baking tray with your fingers. Then lay the plums on top in rows, facing the same way, pressing them gently down into the pastry. Sprinkle the sugar over the top and bake for 45 mins.
When cool, cut into squares. Delicious with frothy coffee or hot chocolate.