Triumphs Of Gluttony And A Melody In Major: Plum Creams With Almonds And Amaretti

Scorn­ing the table of drinks, glit­ter­ing with crys­tal and sil­ver on the right, he moved left towards that of the sweet­meats. Huge sor­rel babas, Mont Blancs snowy with whipped cream, cakes speckled with white almonds and green pista­chio nuts, hil­locks of chocol­ate-covered pastry… a melody in major of crys­tal­lised cher­ries, acid notes of yel­low pine­apple, and green pista­chio paste of those cakes called ‘Tri­umphs of Glut­tony’.

The Leo­pard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.

How could any­one res­ist a cake named ‘tri­umph of glut­tony’ or a heap of cher­ries described as a ‘melody in major’? It was with thoughts of both tri­umph and melody that I whipped up my Plum Cream with Almonds and Amar­etti. I’m still har­vest­ing plums from the broken branches of my cracked and decim­ated plum tree and this tri­umphant melody uses up a whole 600g of them.

Grilling the plums first intens­i­fies their fla­vour as if by magic. The amar­etti bis­cuits add a per­fect bit­ter-sweet­ness to the whole con­fec­tion, while being a fit­ting trib­ute to Lampedusa’s Itali­an her­it­age. Plum Creams deserve a place on Lampedusa’s table, along with the hil­locks of chocol­ate pastry, even if it’s only in the back row.

Plum creams with almonds and amaretti biscuits

Serves 4–6 depend­ing on your level of glut­tony

    • 600g plums
    • 100g vanilla sug­ar
    • 250g mas­car­pone
    • 100g creme fraiche
    • Hand­ful split almonds, toasted in a dry fry­ing pan until golden
    • 1 amar­etti bis­cuit per serving

Split the plums in half, remov­ing the stones. Place cut side up in a grill pan and sprinkle with the sug­ar. Toast for five minutes under a mod­er­ate grill until bub­bling. Turn off the heat and leave in the oven for a fur­ther five minutes until slightly golden brown around the edges. Cool a little and then pur­ee in a blender. Drip through a sieve into a bowl to remove any skin. Allow the pur­ee to cool.

Once cool, mix the pur­ee into the mas­car­pone. Use an elec­tric mix­er if you’re in a hurry. Stir in the creme fraiche. At this stage you may think it’s not quite sweet enough, but the amar­etti bis­cuits bring more than enough extra sweet­ness to the party. Crumble an amar­etti over each serving, along with a sprink­ling of toasted almonds. Chill in the fridge for an hour or so.

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16 thoughts on “Triumphs Of Gluttony And A Melody In Major: Plum Creams With Almonds And Amaretti

  1. I am always attrac­ted to names, and that would have me reach­ing for a Tri­umph of Glut­tony too.….I LOVE your plum creams,I am a lov­er of all things cream and fruity!

  2. This sounds simple and yet so dec­ad­ent! Lately I’ve been toss­ing all fruit into the oven for a bit before incor­por­at­ing into recipes. It’s incred­ible how even a half hour can car­a­mel­ize the sug­ars and con­cen­trate the fla­vors of any­thing from a tomato to a plum. Layered into a pretty glass, this recipe sounds like a tri­umph indeed. And now I have to track down “The Leo­pard” as I like how this Giuseppe thinks.

  3. You’re right Anna — it makes such an incred­ible dif­fer­ence. It doesn’t change the fla­vour so much as make it taste just much more intensely of itself…

  4. I’m part of a book club where we try to theme the food at the dis­cus­sion with the book. The food in the Leo­pard is so vivid and my friend recre­ated the pasta pie — which when the knife broke through the crust revealed many ingredi­ents includ­ing… masses of pip­ing hot, glisten­ing macar­oni, to which the meat juice gave an exquis­ite hue of suede. Who wouldn’t enjoy that? Your post brought back happy memor­ies — love the pic­tures too.

  5. Hue of suede? At first I thought you meant swede, but think­ing about it suede is prob­ably more appet­ising as a macar­oni shade. How fant­ast­ic! And what an excel­lent sound­ing book club you belong to, Sally.

  6. yum, I’m in awe of your France pho­tos too, they are really beau­ti­ful
    This looks great, any recipes for apples and pears on the way? I’ve got big bags of both from a gen­er­ous friend

  7. As a mat­ter of fact, I do! I’m about to recre­ate a recipe I ate as a child involving pears. In my memory it was divine — I do hope I’m right.
    I’m so glad you enjoyed the French pic­tures too.

  8. Ah, so romantic! Yes, one must love any dessert with such poet­ic names and your pho­tos and styl­ing have cap­tured the spir­it beau­ti­fully. I have been mean­ing to make peaches baked with amar­etti but how I love your plum cre­ation. I do need to bake. Lovely!

  9. I had Madame Bovary’s wed­ding feast in mind, for some reas­on. Not sure why since the inspir­a­tion was Itali­an x

  10. These sound won­der­ful — I must try them over the week­end. Sur­pris­ingly, I was just think­ing of Amar­etto hav­ing just read A Trifle Rushed’s most recent blog post for mak­ing an affogato with a drop of whisky — I was think­ing a drop of Amar­etto would be nice in place of the whisky. I then read your blog and there was the word Amar­etti!!

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