South African Queen of Plum Puddings. Supplied

Peaches, nectarines and plums are all in season – they’re colourful, locally grown, and definitely worthy of some celebration themselves.  So take a side-step from some of the tradition and try your hand at some of these beauties:

South African Queen of Plum Puddings

Enjoy this gorgeous easy-to-make pudding with its layer of simmered South African plums.

Serves: 4 

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Suitable for vegetarians.

Ingredients

  • 6 South African plums
  • 60 g caster sugar
  • Pinch ground mixed spice
  • 100 ml water
  • 10 g butter
  • 100 g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 400 ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, separated

Method

1. Halve, pit and slice the plums. Put them into a saucepan with 20g of the sugar, the mixed spice and 100ml water. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Leave to cool.

2. Grease a 1 litre baking dish with half the butter. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs into the dish.

3. Heat the milk with the remaining butter and vanilla extract until lukewarm. Remove from the heat and add half the remaining sugar (20g), stirring to dissolve it. Pour into the baking dish. Add the beaten egg yolks and stir into the breadcrumbs. Leave to soak for 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/ Gas Mark 4.

5. Bake the pudding for 20-25 minutes, until set. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes, then spoon the plums over the surface.

6. Whisk the egg whites in a grease-free bowl until they hold their shape, then add the remaining sugar, whisking again until stiff and glossy. Pile on top of the pudding, then bake for a further 5-8 minutes until golden brown. Serve at once.

7. Cook’s tips: This is a great recipe for making the most of bread that’s 2-3 days old. Remember, egg whites won’t whip if there is the slightest trace of grease in the bowl or on the beaters – and that includes egg yolk – so take care when separating the eggs.

South African Peachy Plum Parma Bites. Supplied


South African Peachy Plum Parma Bites

Perfect for an appetizer and these smart nibbles are good for you too. 

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes        

2 South African peaches or nectarines

4 South African plums

100g ricotta cheese

8 slices Parma ham, cut in half

Handful of rocket

Freshly ground black pepper


Method

1. Pit and thickly slice the peaches or nectarines, then halve and pit the plums.

2. Top each piece of fruit with a dollop of ricotta cheese, then top with a piece of Parma ham and a sprig of rocket.

3. Season with black pepper and serve with extra rocket on the side.

4. Cook’s tips: South African apricots are perfect in this recipe too – simply cut them in half and remove their stones.