Poached Pluots in Reisling – Summer Fest
Summer Fest is back again and stone fruits are the theme. To participate, read more about Summer Fest onAway To Garden from Margaret then come join the community! Catch up on this seasons previous themes on the bounty of Cukes N Zukes , Sweet Corn and Herbs, Beans, Greens.
We love pluots (that delectable plum/apricot cross). They are a wonderful creation of the Zaiger family which has inundated Farmers’ Markets, fine grocers and backyards everywhere. Flavor Grenades, Dapple Dandys (aka Dinosaur Eggs), Flavor Kings and Queens. They have the light tartness of a plum, the firmness of a great plum, but the mellowed sweetness of flesh more reminiscent of an apricot.
Rarely do the pluots we buy (gardening side-note: we are growing Dapple Dandies but they’ve yet to produce. Hopefully next year as the tree has settled in and has grown quite nicely this summer) make it past the grab and eat junction, but occasionally we get to make a summer-perfect dessert with them.
One of our favorite desserts to make with pluots is to poach them in a semi-dry Riesling, drizzle some caramel sauce over them, then add a luscious dollop of whipped cream to finish things off perfectly (there’s that word again. Some may not have heard cookies described as luscious before 😉 but there should be no question that fresh whipped cream deserves “luscious” as a descriptive!)
The poaching gently softens the pluots, plus slightly sweetening them with the complimenting flavors of agave nectar (honey, sugar, or palm sugar are all doable substitutes). Then the caramel sauce is made from some of the reserved poaching liquid, tying its flavor to the poached pluots. Finally a dollop of freshly made whipped cream adds a cool, creamy counterpoint to the pluots.
If you’ve yet to experience a pluot, run to your nearest Farmer’s Market or exceptional grocer and try them. They are gems alongside their other wonderful brethren in the stone fruit family. If fresh, chin dripping pluots are old hat to you, maybe have a little fun and try this recipe to finish off that warm summer night’s meal.
Adjust the sweetener of poaching liquid to the the sweetness or tartness of your pluots or plums. Agave nectar gives a perfect flavor compliment to the pluots and riesling but sometimes is hard to find. Feel free to substitute honey or sugar to sweeten the poaching liquid.
Poached Pluots (or Plums) w/ Riesling served with Caramel Sauce & Whipped Cream
- 2 lbs. (910g) Pluots, or plums, split in half and pitted
- 2 cups (470ml) semid-dry Riesling wine
- 3/4 cup (225g) Agave Nectar or Honey, or 1 cup (200g) Sugar
- zest strips of 1/2 medium Orange
- sprig of thyme
- 1 cup (200g) Sugar
- 1 cup (240ml) Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 Tablespoon (10g or 15ml) Confectioners' Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon (3ml) Vanilla Extract
Poach pluots: Combine wine, sweetener (agave nectar, honey, or sugar), orange zest, and thyme in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add pluots in a single layer (poach in batches according to how many your saucepan can hold) and poach until your desired softness (usually about 5-10 min.) Set aside to cool. Strain & reserve poaching liquid.
Make caramel sauce: Add 1/2 cup of reserved poaching liquid and 1 cup of sugar to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until it just starts to smoke and develops that perfect caramel scent (normally you can tell by the color but the poaching liquid darkens the sauce & your nose is your best judge of doneness.) Add another 1/2 cup of reserved poaching liquid to the caramel to thin it out (be very careful! It will hiss and piss and is a bit volatile. Hardly any burn is worse than a caramel burn!) Stir to combine. Strain any sugar chunks out of sauce & reserve.
Make whipped cream: Combine heavy cream, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl and whip to soft peaks. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve pluots.
To serve, plate a couple pluots per serving on small plates. Pour caramel sauce over pluots and top with a nice dollop of whipped cream.