In our final instalment of delicious wholesome recipes from Alex Hely-Hutchinson of London's 26 Grains restaurant is this very autumnal dessert. Alex says, "I could tell when the summer holidays were coming to an end when my mum starting baking her buttery plum pie slices. She made little sponge pillows for the fruits – when baked, the sponge grows sweeter while the plums caramelise on top and become tart in the middle. This is my version of her pie. I adore the earthiness of the quinoa set against the plums and the maple syrup. I like to bake it in a rectangular tin so everyone can get a little half-plum square of their own."
You will need:
300g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for the tin
150g quinoa flakes
150g ground almonds
Seeds from 20 cardamom pods, ground in a mortar and pestle
1½ teaspoons sea salt
200ml maple syrup
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
3 medium eggs, beaten
6 plums, halved and pitted
Crème fraîche, to serve (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Grease and line a small brownie tin, about 25 × 20cm.
Beat together the butter, quinoa, almonds, cardamom seeds, salt, maple syrup and vanilla until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until nicely incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and top with the plums, cut sides up, gently pushing them into the frangipane. Bake for 45–50 minutes, or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Leave to cool completely in the tin, then cut into squares and serve with a good dollop of crème fraîche.