fairies and courage unnecessary ::::
I cannot shake this summer cough.
While thyme isn’t a typical cough drop flavor these days, it has a long history in medicinal uses, cooking, and aesthetics, dating back thousands of years. The name “thyme” is derived from the Greek word thymon, meaning “courage.” Even the great Shakespeare mentions thyme in his play The Midsummer Night’s Dream, relating to fairies and their goings-on. It has a wide range of combination possibilities, in sweet or savory dishes. Choosing a tangy pluot, one of the brilliantly red-fleshed ones on which to dollop some mascarpone and fresh thyme, seemed the perfect combination for a cough respite. Other stone fruit will work too, so choose the best you can find at the market. Summer never brings enough.
Don’t expect to see fairies, or suddenly gain courageous insight on some complicated matter (unless, perhaps, you are dotting your caramelized pluots with some some other green herb) but do expect minor ailments to fade temporarily. Cutting down on heat in your summer kitchen by grilling instead of stove-top caramelizing and the ease and efficiency of assembly, also both huge plusses for the summer sickies.
- 2-3 Dapple Dandy pluots (or any other stone fruit; mine were large)
- 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
- small amount of butter to grease pan
- 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 2 teaspoons honey
- sprig of fresh thyme
- Slice each pluot in half and remove pit carefully. Dip each half, cutside, into turbinado sugar.
- Using non-stick pan, lightly grease with butter and place on medium flame (or grill).
- Cook pluots for about 4 minutes to brown and caramelize sugar, checking each minute to prevent burning the sugar. Remove pluots from pan and set aside to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, mix the mascarpone cheese with the honey.
- Top each pluot with sweetened marcaspone and sprinkle each with few leaves from the thyme sprig.
- Enjoy while warm with a chilled citrusy dessert wine (or cough syrup, if your a summer sickie, like me).