In September, I had occasion to go out into the wilds of Boston's surprisingly rural suburbs. Once there, I was shunted off on a worthwhile trip to the Idylwilde market. I grabbed a pint of unsexily named prune plums (and some gorgeous tomatoes and peppers). I ate one of the purple-black plums when I got home, and was pretty underwhelmed.
As usual, my impulse buy was threatening to rot a few days later. I googled and discovered that you're supposed to bake the damn things. Who knew? They're not very juicy so they go well in pies and tarts, and when you cook them they become sweet and tender. Thus, the dessert below.
Wash, pit, and quarter:
20 prune plums, also known as Italian plums, or black plums
Bring a few cups of fruity red wine to a simmer (whatever's left in last night's bottle, for example) and dump in the plums. Simmer the plums until they're soft and dyed purple-red from the wine. Drain, and set the plums aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Open up a package of:
Thawed puff pastry
Lay the pastry out on an ungreased cookie sheet and cut it into eight rectangles. Spoon the wine-soaked plums onto the centers of pastry squares.
Mix together, then sprinkle over the plums:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1 Tablespoon milk
Brush the egg mixture onto the exposed edges of the pastry.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until pastry puffs, turns golden, and cooks through.