Monday, September 9, 2013

Thrive Short Order | Caramelized Italian Plums with Mascarpone and Almond {Gluten-Free}


We have some beautiful Italian plums in season at the moment - firm, dark and mysterious. With a slightly tart-sweet flavor, they are absolutely perfect for caramelizing and pair wonderfully with the richness of mascarpone. And cardamom makes an appearance here as well. Used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 5,000 years, modern science is now verifying the healthy usefulness of the spice. More than just a flavorful favorite, cardamom also has many surprising benefits. It's a potent antidepressant, aphrodisiac and relaxant. But these are just a few of the reasons to use the spice. Find out more here.

For myself, the following recipe symbolizes the end of summer as we race head-long into a new season. Even though autumn is a treasured time of the year, it is always tinged with a bit of melancholy as we say farewell to the warmth and joy of the summer months. I find this dessert (or maybe breakfast?) helps to make the transition a little easier and certainly tastier. Wishing everyone a stunning autumn filled with all good things.












Caramelized Italian Plums with Mascarpone and Almond

Yield: 4 servings

*As always, choose organic and locally grown ingredients for ultimate flavor, nutrition and health.

Ingredients

8 fresh Italian plums

1 cup mascarpone

1/2 teaspoon amaretto liqueur

Pinch of cardamom

2 tablespoons pasture butter

1 tablespoon Rapadura or coconut sugar

1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped

Method

Slice the plums lengthwise and gently twist to separate halves. Remove pit and set fruit aside. In a medium sized heavy skillet, melt butter and sugar over low heat. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Place 8 plum halves cut side down in the skillet and cook until golden and caramelized, but still firm - about 10-15 minutes. Watch closely so not to burn the sugar and make sure plums are flat in the pan. Repeat with remaining plums.

While plums are cooking, place mascarpone in a small bowl and whip in amaretto and cardamom. Refrigerate. Once plums are ready, plate the fruit and divide mascarpone between each halve and sprinkle with almonds. Serve immediately and enjoy with abandon.

"There is no love sincerer than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw


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