Vanilla Plum Butter With Thyme & Spelt Biscuits
Plum Butter Ingredients:
4 lbs plums (any variety you can get your hands on, I used a mix of red and black)
2 1/2 cups organic cane sugar sugar
1/2 cup water
2 vanilla beans, split in half lengthwise and pod reserved
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup all purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface
1 cup spelt flour (you could also use whole wheat flour or use just all purpose flour)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), cold and cubed
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup buttermilk flaky sea salt,
2 tbsp fresh thyme, roughly chopped, divided
heavy cream or half and half, for brushing tops
For the Plum Butter:
Slice the plums in half and then cut each half into rough wedges. Add them to a heavy-bottomed 4 quart (or larger) pot along with the sugar, water, lemon juice. Cut each vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds, adding them to the pot. Add in the scraped pods as well. Bring to a boil over high heat, reducing to medium-high once the mixture begins to boil. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, until plums are very tender and have started to break down. Remove vanilla bean pods and discard*. Transfer mixture to a blender and puree. Return to pot and cook on low until mixture has reduced to a consistency somewhere between heavy cream and yogurt. It will also thicken more as it cools. Remove from heat and allow to cool then transfer to glass jars. Store in fridge for up to a month.
For the Biscuits:
Preheat oven to 425 F. In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, salt and 1 tablespoon of the thyme. Stir to combine. Using a pastry blender or your hands, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter resembles the size of peas. Stir in the buttermilk until just combined. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat the dough into about 1 inch thickness. Using a 3 inch round biscuit cutter (a glass works, too!), cut out the biscuits. Transfer biscuits to a cast-iron skillet, about 1/2 an inch apart. Brush tops with heavy cream and sprinkle with flaky salt and the reserved tablespoon of thyme. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until deeply golden brown and puffed. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Smother warm biscuits with the plum butter.
Recipe courtesy of Taylor Harbin, All Purpose Flour Child
* Use vanilla bean pods to make your own vanilla sugar, simply put the scraped pods into your sugar jar or bag and the sugar will have a wonderful subtle vanilla flavor. Never throw out your vanilla beans!