Roast Plums with Whole Spices

Serves 6

Amaretto is a delicious almond-flavoured liqueur from Italy which is available from good off-licences and large supermarkets. The almond flavour goes very well with plums, but you could substitute brandy or a fruit-flavoured liqueur.

Ingredients: 50g (1 ¾ oz) unsalted butter; 700g (1 lb 9oz) large plums, halved and stoned; 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar; 4 tbsp amaretto; 2 cinnamon sticks, halved; 1 vanilla pod, split twice lengthways, then cut across in half (to make 8 bits)

  • Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas Mark 6 and use about a quarter of the butter to grease a shallow ovenproof dish or roasting tin.
  • Arrange the plum halves in one snug layer, cut side up, sprinkle with the sugar and amaretto, and tuck the spices in between the plums. Cut the remaining butter into small slivers, scatter over the top and bake for 35-40 mins, until hot and bubbling.
  • Serve just as it is or with cream, custard or vanilla ice-cream.
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