I first fell in love with poetry in middle school, thanks to William Carlos Williams. I’d initially chuckled at his silly-sounding name, but then something about his simple and tangible words charmed me. The first time I read “This Is Just to Say” aloud, I fancied that I could actually feel the cold deliciousness of an icebox plum rolling across my tongue.
Ever since, the fruit has always evoked a strong sense of nostalgia in me, and this juicy baked rendition takes me right back to that fateful seventh grade class. We’re expecting snow in NYC this week, but perhaps giving this summertime staple some love can help usher in some warmer weather for good.
Though this dish is delicious any way you serve it, I prefer the plums warm, topped with a chilled dollop of mascarpone for just a touch of icebox-coldness. The result is a just-right symphony that’s not too saccharine nor too sour, perfect for a light dessert.
Or breakfast. Or a snack. Or no good reason at all.
I didn’t have mascarpone on hand, and, honestly, it’s a little pricey anyway. Not wanting to get too fancy, I used this shortcut: 8 oz cream cheese, 1/4 cup heavy cream, and 2.5 tbsp sour cream. I also opted for a pomegranate black currant juice when I (uncharacteristically) ran out of wine.
BAKED PLUMS WITH BLUEBERRIES AND MASCARPONE
adapted from The Golden Book of Desserts
- 12 ripe plums or small nectarines
- 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup dry red wine or black currant juice
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 8 oz mascarpone
- 2 tbsp confecioners’ sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 400F. Wash the plums, splitting them into halves and pitting them. Lay them flat side up in a bake-safe pan (or two) lined with aluminum foil. Rub the brown sugar in on the cut surface.
In a small dish, zap the butter in the microwave until just melted. Dip two fingers into the butter, spreading it onto the plums evenly. Don’t be afraid to apply a liberal layer. The butter should cool pretty quickly and firm up on the plums.
Drizzle wine or juice over the plums, then bake for 15 minutes. In the meantime, combine the mascarpone, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla in a bowl. Set aside and chill. Remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle the dish with blueberries, then bake for another 5 minutes.
Let the plums cool slightly. Serve with a dollop of mascarpone and a splash of juice from the pan.
THIS IS JUST TO SAY
I have eaten the plums
that were in
you were probably
they were delicious
and so cold
– William Carlos Williams