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Monday, 9 July 2007

Marvellous Mirabelles!

And no, that's not the latest Harry Potter spell - just another discovery in our sprawling garden!

cherrytree1 mirabelles 1

We have a beautiful tree growing in our garden and for a long time I thought it was a cherry tree - several people even told me that. Although it's our fifth year here, the tree has never really had that much fruit - there was a sprinkling last year and they did look like yellow cherries, but they didn't taste quite right.
This year, however, there were quite a few, at least 3-4 lbs that I could reach to pick.
Halfway through writing a piece on our 'yellow cherries' I decided to research the variety and found, to my amazement, that they were not cherries at all but 'mirabelle plums'. I had never even heard of such a fruit!
Mirabelles are small, oval in shape and are dark yellow in colour. They taste just like a plum and are the size of a large cherry.

Armed with that information I decided to make Delia's Plum and Cinnamon Oat Slices - but a smaller version with the mirabelles. I halved her recipe and used a smaller tin to cook them in.
The slices were good, just the right amount of tartness from the fruit, and quite crumbly with the oats. This would be best served warm with a big dollop of cream.

mirabelle crumble1 mirabelle crumble 2

Mirabelle and Cinnamon Oat Slices
Adapted from Delia Smith

8oz mirabelles, cut in half, stone removed
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2½ oz oats
2½ oz plain wholemeal flour
2½ oz plain flour (you can use all wholemeal flour)
½ teaspoon salt
4 oz unsalted butter
2 oz light soft brown sugar

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).

Line a tin (I used an 8" round cake tin) with baking parchment.

Cut the mirabelles in half and remove the stones, place in a bowl and toss with the cinnamon.

Mix the flours and porridge oats together with the salt in a mixing bowl, then melt the butter and sugar in a small saucepan over a fairly gentle heat, stirring until the butter has melted.

Mix the melted butter/sugar into the oat mixture, starting with a wooden spoon but finishing off with your hands so you end up with a lump of dough. Now halve the dough and press one half of the mixture into the baking tin, pressing down firmly.

Scatter the mirabelles evenly over the surface, then top with the remaining oat mixture, again pressing down firmly.

Now place the tin on the centre shelf of the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, or a bit longer if you like the top really crispy. Remove tin from oven and allow to cool in the tin if serving cold, or serve straight away, hot with a big dollop of cream.

(Printable Recipe)

mirabelle crumble 3


Brilynn said...

I love that last pic, looks delicious. I've never had these tiny plums before.

Celia Hart said...

Mmmmm! that recipe looks very good. The hedge along my veg garden is laden with wild plums (or bullaces) - very similar to your mirabelles (probably just the french name for a very similar fruit). The fruit on our trees have a pinky/red colour when ripe. Will give this recipe a try when our bullaces get ripe. And it will probably work well with my favourite fruit - the Cambridge Gage.

You could try a classic Tarte aux Mirabelles


Joe said...

What a cool discovery! Lucky you!

Nic said...

Brilynn - although I did try some last year, I didn't really know what they were! You can make that recipe with ordinary plums or other fruits even.

Celia - your wild plums sound interesting too! Unfortunately I don't have enough to make anything else this year, hopefully there will be more next year.

Joe - Hi there - thanks for visiting! You can tell I was quite excited by them!!

Anonymous said...

Whew, finally I can leave a comment! Your crumble looks absolutely delicious! I feel as if I could just dig in, now pass the cream! What a lucky girl you are to have such a tree in your garden!

Yvonne Randall said...

This is a fab blog. I'm glad to see more uses for the mirabelles. We have a couple of trees in our house and I'm constantly looking foro things to do with them, especially in a glut year. I've posted the most amazing mirabelle liqueur on my blog, Nonna's Cooking, if you want to have more ideas for ways to use them.

Nic said...

Thanks so much for the comments Craft Fairy! Sadly, we only had one mirabelle on the tree this year. :(