Plums in Marsala
1.35kg fresh firm plums
1 pint Marsala
1 vanilla pod
2 cinnamon sticks
75g caster sugar
2 tsp arrowroot
Place the plums, vanilla pod and cinnamon sticks in a baking dish, then mix the Marsala with the sugar and pour it over the plums.
Place the dish on the centre shelf of the oven and cook for 40 minutes, uncovered, turning the plums over in the Marsala halfway through the cooking time.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and strain the plums, discarding the vanilla pod and cinnamon sticks, and pour the sauce into a medium-sized saucepan.
Bring it up to simmering point, then let it bubble and reduce for 5 minutes. Mix the arrowroot with a little water in a cup to make a paste, then whisk this into the liquid. Bring the sauce back to simmering point, whisking all the time, until it has thickened slightly and is glossy – about 5 minutes.
Pour it back over the plums and serve them hot or cold.