Baked Plums with Vanilla Ice Cream and Justamere Tree Farm Granola Crumbles

Last weekend we were at the Great Barrington Farmer’s Market in Great Barrington, Massachusetts at the old fair grounds.  It was a beautiful day, but when we got out of the car we were ankle deep in muddy pathways.  It would have been fine if we were wearing our wellies but we had on flip flops.  Flip flops and little children who do not (I mean DO NOT) like to be dirty or messy.  Our feet were suctioning to the ground and I nearly went down on a slippery spot.  This was our parking lot experience and it had nearly sent us right back to the car before we even hit the market.  I convinced the little tikes to stick it out (literally) and we forged ahead to the field where the market was being held.  We walked the small market twice before making a purchase plan and then headed back to our choice stops.  These included bread, croissants, cheese, and sauerkraut.  We were not planning on buying granola.  I just posted an entire blog on making granola.  We make our own granola! We were walking by the table when a young girl from Justamere Tree Farm said would you like to try some of our granola? I was ready to keep walking, I’m not going to lie.  I had just spent twenty dollars on cheese.  But the four year old eater amongst us suddenly perked up when he heard “try some granola”….he beelined it to the table.  Didn’t ask me.  Just headed on over.  Eagerly he put his little hands on the cup and chowed it down…as did his sister.  I ate one to be polite and then thought how could a small sample be so good?  The granola tasted of maple and there was the contrast in texture of the pecan.  The crunch was perfect and it was not at all overdone.  This young girl could sell her granola.  And she did.  So eight dollars later we were off with our fabulous bag of granola…which I informed the kids we would be using sparingly for something special (they have a tendency to pour very LARGE bowls of cereal and I could see this lasting one day).  I just didn’t know what that would be until today when I decided that granola is not just for breakfast.

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Still a little obsessed with the Tamasin’s Weekend Food book I have been reading, I found a recipe for a plum and rhubarb compote that looked gorgeous.  I was inspired by the plum bit and thought I would incorporate them into a dessert for tonight’s dinner.  We don’t always have dessert with dinner.  Not proper dessert at least.  Sugar free things or natural sugar things like fruit is our usual route.  But today was our daughter’s last day of kindergarten.  We could do something fun and special for dessert since tomorrow was the first day of summer vacation, couldn’t we?  I thought so.

I preheated the oven to 350 f. and began slicing the plums in half and removing the pits.  I sprinkled them with sugar after placing them in a small oven proof baking dish.  Side note…plums can be quite sour for little palates.  You can adjust the sugar or add honey to make it delicious for them (or, if you like, just watch them squint and make the sour face as they eat it…just joking..although that sour face is sometimes too adorable).  Once in the dish a small circle of parchment was set over the top before the entire dish was covered and put into the oven.  The recipe said not to add water.  I was expecting a little more juice (in the end) than I got, but was very happy with the baked plums.  I left them in for about twenty minutes and then let them cool.  I sliced the halves in thirds and reserved the juice that I did get.  The plums were placed in the bottom of the dishes and then a few scoops of Ben & Jerry’s vanilla ice cream were layered on before adding a few more plum pieces and our crunchy, flavorful Justamere Tree Farm granola.  The entire thing was drizzled with the reserved juice.  Everyone was happy.  Cold, refreshing, crunchy, flavorful…a fun dessert for a special night.

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