banana coconut vanilla bean ice cream with lightly grilled plum & pecan crumb

2nd July 2015

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It’s coming up to three years since we moved into this house from Israel.  At that time, we had just missed the plum-tree season.  It was only the following year that this little plum-tree gave us a grand and decadent welcome, and now each year it never disappoints.

This particular tree is so abundant in fruit that I am always afraid the branches may break under the weight of it all.  It is a truly remarkable tree – to me, it tastes the very essence of Summer.  A full, luscious honey-flavoured Summer.  For the perfect plum, you need to catch it right at that moment just before it starts to soften that little bit too much. This is a delicate moment because, in just a week, they will all start to drop.

The swans and ducks enjoy them, but only the swans with their long necks can actually grab them from the tree itself.  They also keep the ground clean, and I think that they swallow the pips and all, as there is no evidence of any fallen fruit. But the tree looks lighter with each day.

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Each evening after my dinner, I stroll the garden, pluck one or two off the tree, judging them by their colour only – I know which ones are just perfect for eating.  The slightest touch and they fall into my hand without any effort.  I find a spot to sit and eat, to enjoy my sweet end to an evening meal.  A moment of quiet.  There is a feeling of contentment and deep gratitude from this simple pleasure.  Maybe it is the silence at that time of day or the light….Mostly I think it is a combination of both.

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lightly grilled plum & pecan crumb

When plums are not available, try with apricots, peaches or nectarines.

Serves 4 

ingredients :

¼ tsp ground cardamom

½ cup pecans, macadamia or nuts of choice

1 date – seed removed

8 small ripe plums

2 Tblsp honey/maple syrup

preparation :

Preheat the grill.

Place the nuts, date and cardamom in the blender and pulse until the mixture becomes a fine crust.  Pour into a bowl and set aside.

Cut each plum in half and remove the stone.  Place the halves on a baking tray, cut side upwards. Scoop a spoon of the nut crumb into the pit of each plum.  Lightly drizzle each plum with honey/syrup.  Place the tray about 6 inches from the heat, and grill/broil for about 3-4 minutes, until the nuts are slightly golden.  Allow to cool for a couple of minutes while preparing the banana ice cream.

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instant banana, coconut, vanilla bean ice-cream

Recipe from ‘ Kind Ice-cream for You’

This instant ice-cream is remarkably easy, yet so creamy.  The added coconut cream softens the banana taste and is a perfect way to enjoy the fresh fruits of the season.  Placing the coconut milk in the fridge allows for the milk and cream to separate, and for the cream to rise to the top for easy scooping. I keep the left-over liquid to add to soups or smoothies.

2 frozen bananas  – peeled, cut and frozen for at least 4 hours, or overnight

1 can (400mL) full fat coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)

1 vanilla bean

1 Tbsp honey/maple syrup

Open the coconut milk can and scoop out the thick, solid white cream.  Add the coconut cream, frozen bananas, and honey/maple syrup to a blender.  Run a knife down the length of the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Add this to the blender and blend until smooth.  You will have to scrape down the sides of the blender a couple of times until it forms a smooth texture.  Scoop into glasses.  Place one or two plums on top and drizzle with a little more honey/syrup.  Serve immediately.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

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