MAKES 1 3/4 CUPS
Plums are served both fresh and dried in Italy. Dried plums are often poached in wine. When I want a quick, but fancy dessert, I make Panna Cotta and serve fresh plum sauce over the top. It is also good served over lemon sherbet or a plain tea cake.
Make this refreshing sauce with fresh, ripe, but not mushy plums. The skin of the plums should yield to gentle pressure when pressed with your finger.
3 1/2 cups peeled, pitted, and sliced Santa Rosa or other large red or purple plums
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Place the plums and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture starts to boil. Add the lemon juice and continue to cook, stirring, for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until the fruit is glazed and a bit softened but not dissolved.
Pour the mixture into a bowl and add the vanilla sugar and cloves. Cover and let the sauce come to room temperature.
Note: You can double the recipe and keep the mixture in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Vanilla sugar is sold in grocery and gourmet food stores. It is also available from mail-order sources. Vanilla sugar is made from vanilla beans and sugar. If not available, omit or make your own.
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