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 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.