< Kitchen
< Winter Warmers

Chicken Stock
Hedgehog Cake
Speculaas Biscuits
Austrian Apple Cake
Plum Squares
Apple and Sausage Loaf
Orange and Walnut Loaf
Pumpkin Pie
Beef and Guinness Casserole
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Soda Bread
Pumpkin and Orange Muffins
Quince Vodka
Mash O’ Nine Sorts
Pork Sausages with Beans
Posh Polenta Pancakes
Basic Muffins
Dainty Toasties
Awesome American Pancakes
Orange and Rhubarb Crumble

Plum Squares

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
100g butter
175g caster sugar
A pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
675g plums
2 tbsp sugar

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.