Plums en papillote with honey

    30 min

    En papillote is a method of cooking food in the oven in parcels of paper, thus sealing in all the delicious juices. It is important to use baking parchment for the parcels as its coating is more moistureproof than greaseproof paper. When the parcels are opened for serving, a wonderful spicy perfume is released.

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    Serves: 8 

    • 8 large dessert plums, stoned and thickly sliced
    • 30 g (1 oz) unsalted butter
    • 2 cinnamon sticks, each cut into 4 pieces
    • 8 whole cloves
    • 4 tbsp acacia honey, or another clear variety
    • 1 large orange
    • To serve
    • 4 scoops vanilla frozen yogurt or ice cream
    • 3 tbsp coarsely chopped pecans

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:30min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6).
    2. Take 8 large squares of baking parchment and in the centre of each put one-eighth of the plum slices and butter, a piece of cinnamon stick and 1 clove. Drizzle ½ tbsp of honey over each portion of plums.
    3. Use a citrus zester to take fine shreds of zest from the orange, or thinly pare off the zest with a vegetable peeler and then cut it into fine shreds. Squeeze the juice from the orange. Add one-eighth of the orange zest and juice to each portion of plums, sprinkling the zest and juice over the fruit evenly.
    4. For each parcel, bring two opposite sides of the paper together over the fruit filling and fold two or three times. Fold over the other ends twice, then tuck them underneath, to make a neatly sealed parcel.
    5. Place the parcels on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes. The paper parcels will puff a little and brown slightly, and the fruit mixture inside will be bubbling hot.
    6. Place the parcels on individual serving plates, carefully open up each one and top with a scoop of frozen yogurt or ice-cream. Sprinkle with the pecans and serve immediately.

    Some more ideas

    For pineapple and banana en papillote, replace the plums and spices with 1 small ripe pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped, and 4 bananas, thickly sliced. Add 2 star anise to each parcel, then drizzle with the honey and orange zest and juice. * Maple syrup makes a toffee-flavoured alternative to honey.

    Plus points

    Plums contain a useful amount of vitamin E, an important antioxidant that helps to protect against degenerative diseases associated with ageing. * Pecans, like other nuts, are rich in fat (70 g per 100 g/3½ oz), but little of this is saturated. They also provide generous amounts of vitamin E. * Yogurt, along with other dairy products, is a valuable source of calcium. This mineral is essential for the structure of bones and teeth, which contain 99 per cent of all calcium in the body. But calcium is also important in a number of other vital processes, including blood clotting and the proper functioning of muscles and nerves.

    Each serving provides

    Good source of vitamin C, vitamin E. Useful source of calcium, copper, potassium, vitamin A.

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