Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
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.