Whenever I see prune plums I think of my grandmother, she loves them, so when I saw these plums at the market I got excited and filled a bag with them! Prune plums or otherwise known as Italian plums are small and egg-shaped and they are tart, not sweet, probably why my grandmother loves them so much!
They were fresh and cold, but I got so much that I decided to make something with them. I have been on a bar craze this past week, from date bars to apricot bars, to this! Experimenting with crumbs, using butter, oils, brown sugar and caster. For these bars I went with a shortbread kind of crust and I think it goes great!
As I mentioned above these plums are tart, I found that 1 cup of sugar was not enough, so I added another 1/2 a cup. You may find that too sweet or not sweet enough, in that case you may taste as you cook and add or omit to your preference.
When I bake I often use self raising flour, but I make it myself as I don’t ever buy it. For that reason I have 3 teaspoons of baking powder in the recipe instead of telling you to use self raising flour, cause in reality how many of us actually have that on hand! If you do happen to self raising flour then omit the baking powder and salt.
What you will need for the shortbread:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 3 cups flour
For the prune plum filling:
- 5 cups sliced prune plums
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
Slice and remove pits from prunes, you will need five cups worth.
Add sliced prunes to a large pot with sugar and water. Bring to a boil and cook on low to medium heat until it cooks down and turns a bright red/fuschia colour. You may have to make a cornstarch slurry to thicken it up near the end. I did and it made the colour even brighter.
In a food processor combine the sugars, baking powder, salt, flour and butter. Blend until butter is blended into the flour mixture.
Line a piece of parchment paper onto a 13 x 9 inch baking pan, press half of the amount of shortbread on the bottom of pan, this is your base.
Spread the prune filling over the base, top with the remaining shortbread mixture, do not press, rather lightly top it like a crumble top.
Bake at 350 for half an hour. Cool and refrigerate for 4-6 hours or over night. Cut into bars when cold. Enjoy!