PLUM AND HAZELNUT GRATIN WITH THYME CRÈME ANGLAISE
This seasonal dessert makes the most of juicy plums whose sweetness is accentuated by the thyme crème anglaise (custard). I love homemade custard - infusing the milk beforehand with different herbs or spices gives you a wide range of flavours. If you prefer, you can exchange the thyme for cardamom.
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For the plum gratin:
5 – 6 ripe plums, stoned and halved
1 tsp cinnamon
15g brown sugar
For the thyme custard:
150ml full fat milk
150ml double cream
3 free-range egg yolks
30g caster sugar
4 sprigs of thyme
- Preheat the oven to 180c/ 350f/ Gas mark 4
- Bring the milk, cream and thyme sprigs to the boil. When it has boiled, remove from the heat and allow the thyme to infuse the cream mixtures.
- Butter a small oven proof dish and arrange the plum halves in the bottom.
- Crush the hazelnuts in a mortar and pestle or small food processor.
- Mix with the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the plums
- Bake in the oven for 30 min.
- In the meantime, prepare the thyme crème anglaise by sieving the thyme from the cream mixture.
- Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and creamy in a heat-proof bowl.
- Reheat the cream mixture in a clean pan.
- If the cream mixture is too hot, the egg yolks will cook and the mixture will become lumpy. Cool slightly and whisk well.
- Whilst whisking, slowly pour the cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture.
- Pour this back into the pan and whisk over a low heat until thick and creamy.
- Serve the thyme crème anglaise immediately with the baked plums.
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