My husband has joked with me that he’s wondered, on occasion, if I’m part fruit bat. He’s been known to lovingly call me his “little fruit bat” when I sit down on the couch in the evening with a big ol’ bowl of fruit. I enjoy fruit so much and find myself actually craving it more than savory food sometimes, especially in the warmer months when I’ve been cooking in the kitchen for hours; it’s just so very refreshing and fragrant, so juicy and quenching. A nice big bowl of it all sliced up and swirled together with perhaps a dollop of yogurt or even plain, and you’ll find me happily munching away, just as content as a… (Could it be true?)
How great that not all desserts have to be of the baked variety, or high in sugar and fat. Fresh fruits, especially in these warmer spring and summer months, simply prepared and given a little love and attention can be just as desirable a treat for the sweet tooth, and refreshingly healthy. It’s all about bringing out their natural flavors and dressing them up a little. Plums are a gorgeous stone fruit, and grill oh-so well. Kissed with light spice and drizzled with sweet honey, they caramelize beautifully while being gently warmed and softened just a touch. They’re perfect as a fresh, luscious and simply elegant dessert, or as a unique side paired with a savory and spicy dish.
I guess I’ll never really know if I’ve got some fruit bat genes in me, but that’s OK. As long as I can sit down with my fruit at the end of the day, I promise not to bite anyone.
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Grilled Cinnamon Plums with Sweetened Mascarpone, Vanilla Honey and Toasted Pine Nuts
10 small, softly ripe plums, halved and pit removed
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons honey, divided use
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus a sprinkle for garnish
4 ounces mascarpone (about ½ cup)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, divided use
4 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, for garnish
4 leaves fresh mint, for garnish
-In a medium bowl, toss together the halved and pitted plums with the vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon of the honey and the ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon; preheat a grill or grill pan over medium heat.
-Once grill pan is hot, place the plums cut-side down on the grill pan, grill for about 2-3 minutes or until they begin to caramelize and get “grill marks”, and are warmed through and juicy; remove from the grill and place onto a clean plate to keep warm while the sweetened mascarpone and vanilla honey are prepared.
-In a small bowl, combine the mascarpone with 1 tablespoon of the honey and ½ teaspoon of the vanilla, and whisk together well with a fork until smooth and creamy, and set aside.
-In another small bowl or a ramekin, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of honey with the remaining ½ teaspoon of vanilla, and set aside.
-Place 5 grilled plum halves onto each plate and spoon a heaping teaspoon size dollop of the sweetened mascarpone in the center of each plum where the pit was; with a spoon, drizzle a bit of vanilla honey over the plums, and sprinkle on a tablespoon of the toasted pine nuts over top; sprinkle over just a touch of ground cinnamon and garnish with a mint leaf.