September 12, 2012

Catch a Quetsche Plum ... If You Can

Photo at the Rungis Market by Françoise Meunier
The lovely quetsche plum is usually in season in late August and September. They can be eaten raw or cooked in tartes and compotes. They can also be used to make jam or plum alcohol. The quetsche is most widely grown in the northeast of France, but like the Mirabelle plum, it can be grown all over France.

We're at the tail end of the season now, but it's worth the effort to track down these interesting members of the plum family.

A trip to Jeanette's mother-in-law's house?
Jeanette Dardel, our wine tasting director (and sometimes cooking class helper), and WICE's fearless cooking instructor, Françoise Deberdt-Meunier, are both loyal fans. Jeanette watched her French mother-in-law whip up a simple dessert, by arranging quetsche plum halves in a pastry-lined tarte tin and putting a sugar cube on top of each plum half (bake at 180 C for 40 minutes). And Françoise provides the (also easy) recipe below.

Bon appétit!

Quetsche compote with cinnamon and red wine
Recipe for 4/ cooking time 10 minutes
600 grams quetsches
6 tablespoons red wine

Wash the quetsches and cut them in half. Remove the pit and place them in a saucepan. Add ½ stick cinnamon (crushed) as well as ¼ teaspoon powdered cinnamon. Add the red wine and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat to low. Cook 10 minutes. Remove the lid and pour into a compote pot and serve warm or chilled, accompanied by a cookie. Quetsches are sweet enough to not require any added sugar. For children, replace the wine with 2 tablespoons water!

This dessert can be served in individual compote pots accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Yum, yum!

Thank you Jeanette and Françoise for this post.

Join us for the upcoming WICE cooking classes. Françoise is an amazing teacher and always has special tips that even experienced cooks find new and helpful. For more info, click here.