About this recipe:Whole plums baked with toasted almonds and marzipan in light layers of flaky filo pastry makes a scrumptious dessert. Serve the pastries on their own or with a spoonful of Greek-style yogurt or reduced-fat crème fraîche.
5 large dessert plums, about 75 g (2½ oz) each
45 g (1½ oz) white marzipan, sliced into 4 portions
150 g (5½ oz) filo pastry, thawed if frozen
30 g (1 oz) unsalted butter, melted
4 tbsp toasted flaked almonds
1 tsp icing sugar mixed with a pinch of ground cinnamon
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:20min › Ready in:35min
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Halve the plums lengthways and ease out the stones. Cut one of the plums into slices and reserve for the decoration. Put a slice of marzipan in between the halves of each remaining plum and sandwich back together.
Cut the filo pastry into 8 squares, each measuring about 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 in). Stack 2 squares of filo on top of each other, brushing lightly between the layers with melted butter and placing them so the corners are not directly aligned.
Pile 1 tbsp of the almonds in the centre of the pastry and place a marzipan-stuffed plum on top. Scrunch the pastry up round the plum to form an old-fashioned moneybag shape.
Repeat with the remaining pastry, almonds and plums to make 4 moneybags in all. Brush the pastries with any remaining butter.
Place on a non-stick baking tray. Bake for 15–20 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden. Transfer the pastries to serving plates. Dust with the icing sugar and cinnamon, decorate with the reserved plum slices, and serve.
Some more ideas
For fig pastries, use ripe but still firm figs cut in half lengthways instead of the plums. * To add an orange flavour, sprinkle the pastry with the finely grated zest of 1 orange as you butter and fold the layers, adding only a little zest at a time.
The plums in this dessert are a delicious way to help get to the target of at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. * Filo pastry makes a lower-fat alternative to puff and shortcrust pastries, as you can be very sparing with the butter added. * Almonds and other nuts provide many of the nutrients usually obtained from meat. These include most of the B vitamins, phosphorus, iron, copper, potassium and, of course, protein.