Baked Plums with Indian Bay Leaf
One of the desserts we enjoyed in India has stayed on our minds for its simple use of Indian Bay Leaf (known as Tejpat, which are actually the dried leaves from a cinnamon tree) and Brown Cardamom, whereas in the West we would commonly put regular bay leaves and cardamom pods with baked or stewed fruit. We’ve added some pistachio praline and a little whipped coconut cream to serve. You can cook this on the stovetop, bake in oven, or put into a brick oven (as we do!) or wrap tightly and place in a fire pit. If plums aren’t in season, pears also work wonderfully.
- 700g just ripe plums (not too soft)
- 60g (1/3 cup) coconut or brown sugar
- 60ml (1/4 cup) water
- 3 Herbie’s Indian Bay Leaves – Tejpat
- 3 Herbie’s Brown Cardamom Pods, lightly bruised
- 75g (1/2 cup) coconut or brown sugar
- 125ml (1/2 cup) water
- 60g (1/2 cup) shelled, unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
- Heat oven to 160C.
- Place sugar, water, tejpat and brown cardamom in a small saucepan over low heat for sugar to dissolve, about 7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, halve and de-seed plums.
- Either add plums to the pan if cooking on stovetop or place in an ovenproof dish and pour over syrup. Cover the dish with foil or lid and place in the oven for 25 minutes, turning once, until tender.
- For praline, heat sugar and water over low heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Keep on a medium-low heat and ideally use a sugar thermometer to check when it reaches 135C (hard ball stage).
- Prepare a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
- Stir pistachios into sugar syrup then immediately turn onto the greaseproof paper. Top with another piece of greaseproof paper, and using a rolling pin, flatten to .5mm thick. Allow to set until firm, about 2 hours.
Syrup can be prepared up to 3 days ahead.