I went for a long run yesterday afternoon, and as I was making my way through our tiny town, I noticed that all of the people I encountered on my route just generally seemed happier. From across the street, our mailman gave me a huge wave (You know the kind where people literally make a half-circle with their hand as they do it? It was that type of wave!), another runner stopped me to compliment my kicks (Thanks!), and there were smiles all around. I was feeling pretty euphoric myself, knowing that we are about to embark upon such a fun season. I am so excited for afternoons spent on the lake, pool parties, dinners on the deck, sunsets – and of course a few sundresses thrown in there for good measure.
My family and friends love to entertain, so it seems as if someone is always coming or going, and I for one am constantly trying to create new – easy – appetizer or dessert ideas since that tends to be the standard response to “What can I bring?” (Aside from “A bottle of wine.”), around these parts.
This recipe was born after I spotted a box of perfect California Red Plums at a nearby orchard. They were right next to an equally perfect box of nectarines, which I also purchased and proceeded to eat plain and simple (One did manage to survive just long enough to be photographed below, though!). These little guys, meanwhile, were begging to be stuffed with something delicious, and after going through the usual suspects in terms of stuffing ideas, I decided on an extra-spiced cannoli filling. It was a good decision!
The best part about this is that the concept is very interchangeable. If it’s too hot to turn your oven on or you just don’t feel like roasting the plums, you can leave them raw (Although, I recommend roasting if they’re still on the tart side). You could also swap out the plums for nectarines, or use the ‘stuffing’ as a dip for berries (I just thought of that one…YUM.). Or, leave the fruit out entirely and eat a big old bowl of cannoli filling (I definitely did that at one point). It all works!
- For the Plums:
- 6 Plums (I used a California Red variety), Sliced in Half with the Pit Removed
- 1 Tablespoon Butter (or Coconut Oil)
- 1 Orange, Juiced and Zested
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- For the Filling:
- 1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
- ⅓ Cup Confectioners' Sugar
- ½ Teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¼ Teaspoon Allspice
- 1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
- ¼ Cup Chocolate 'Mini' Chips
- (Optional) 1 Teaspoon Heavy Cream
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the butter on a small rimmed baking sheet or casserole dish, and melt in the oven (This should take no more than a minute).
- Remove from the oven and add the orange juice and honey to the pan, stirring to combine. Place the plums, cut-side down, on top of the butter mixture and return to oven. Roast for approximately 5-10 minutes (depending on size and firmness of plums), just until the plums are slightly soft and the liquid is beginning to caramelize.
- As the plums roast, make the cannoli filling. Whisk the ricotta until smooth. Mix in the remaining ingredients. Set aside.
- Remove the cooked plums from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- To serve, spoon the filling into the cavity of each plum. If desired, top with a drizzle of the plum cooking liquid.