Poaching always sounds more difficult than it really is. See how easy it can be with this fruit and nut combination dessert
- For the pud
- 175g (6oz) dairy-free spread
- 175g (6oz) caster sugar
- 175g (6oz) ground almonds
- 1tsp vanilla extract, optional
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 small lemons, grated rind, and 3tbsp juice
- 90g (3oz) fine cornmeal (polenta)
- 1tsp gluten-free baking powder
- For the plum compote
- 150ml (¼ pint) port or red wine
- 4tbsp cranberry or redcurrant jelly
- 1 orange, grated rind of ½ and 100ml (3½ fl oz) juice
- 500g (1lb) plums (6-8 plums), halved
- 20cm (8in), loose-based deepish cake tin, greased and lined
Set the oven to warm, 160°C (325°F, gas mark 3)
To make the pud: Cream the fat and sugar in a bowl until light and creamy. Stir in the ground almonds and vanilla, if using.
Add the eggs, in small batches, beating well. Stir in the lemon rind and juice, cornmeal and baking powder. Pour into the tin and bake for 45-50 mins until the top is golden and a skewer, when inserted in the centre, comes out clean.
Leave in the tin for 10 mins, then remove and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or cold with the plums.
To make the poached plums: Pour the wine into a pan large enough to take the halved plums in one layer. Boil wine until reduced by half; it doesn’t take long. Add the jelly, stir gently until dissolved; add the orange rind and juice.
Pack the plums in, cut side up and let the syrup boil up and over the fruit, then poach them gently until tender (5-10 mins) depending on how ripe the plums are.
Spoon the fruit, with a draining spoon, into a bowl. Boil the wine sauce until it becomes a thickish syrup then pour it over the plums. Cut the cake into slices and serve with a plum half and some syrup, and (dairy-free) cream.
Keep an eye on the temperature of your syrup when poaching - keep it just below a simmer.