I have been anxiously waiting for the arrival of stone fruit season. Living on the coast, the cool bite to the air with the approach of autumn is more pronounced due to the sea breeze. After an unprecedented, balmy heat wave two weeks ago, the temperature dropped from 44 to 22° C in one week. Along with the rush of cold air, I procured a sudden appetite for plums and devised a plan to stretch out my fruit supply to remedy the high produce prices as a result of the recent flooding. Luckily I caught the beginning of stone fruit season when I was in Michigan late last summer and I got my fill of sweet desserts. This version of applesauce made with the addition of plums tastes just as lovely as it looks. Mix with a bowl of muesli and Greek yogurt and top with a handful of toasted walnuts.

24 days until the Feasting on Art Recipe Contest deadline and the first entry is already in. Be sure to get your submissions started!

Théo van Rysselberghe, Still Life with Plums, 1926
oil on canvas, dimensions unknown, Private collection

As a neo-impressionist painter, Belgian-born Théo van Rysselberghe’s work embraced the ordered application of pure colour. In the painting Still Life with Plums, created the year of his death, van Rysselberghe abandoned his earlier pointillist technique in favour of broad brushstrokes of vivid colour. Against the muted backdrop of browns and golds, the saturated purple of the plums immediately draws the eye to the centre of the canvas. The compositions of his later years were heavily influenced by the atmospheric qualities of light. van Rysselberghe was adept at establishing warmth and heat through the red/gold tones of his paintings.

{Plum Applesauce}

Yield: 2 cups

2 granny smith apples
6 plums
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
chopped & toasted walnuts, to serve

Remove the pits from the fruit, cut each apple into 8 wedges and cut the plums in half. Add to a medium-sized pot with the water, sugar and vanilla. Cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the fruit has become soft, gently stir to mash into an applesauce. Carefully remove the apple skins from the sauce. Serve with a scatter of chopped and toasted walnuts and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Will keep for about a week.