A cool change

Last week, Kate and the team thoroughly enjoyed styling and catering the launch of a stunning new Meriton development in Dee Why called Lighthouse. With the event being held on the Northern Beaches and with the building echoing a cool Hamptons-esque vibe, we decided to make good use of beautiful fresh seafood and lovely late-summer produce. But it won’t be long before our menus begin to take on a more autumnal tone.

We’re slowly but surely sliding into the cooler months. The memory of summer is slipping a little further away with every day that dips below 30-degrees. Green leaves are quietly turning to rusty-brown and stone fruit and berries are dwindling in our shopping baskets.

Our thoughts are turning to restorative soups, sour pickled plums, robust pulses and slowly braised meats. But, if you know what to look for, summer has left a few little gifts in her wake.

You might be surprised to learn that mushrooms are beautiful at this time of year, especially king brown and field mushrooms. In fact, we’re so excited about these spongy, pudgy little earth-dwellers that we’re creating a mushroom bar for an upcoming event. There’ll be mushroom gnocchi, shiitake dumplings, mushrooms stuffed with quinoa, and a fantastic truffle mushroom cappuccino.

And while peaches and nectarines are winding down, late-summer, early-autumn plums are sweet and plump. There are few things more delightful than a perfectly ripe plum. Most people seem to miss the season entirely, grabbing them too early when they’re still tart, giving this crimson gem a bad wrap. But if you catch them now while their skin is deep purple and they’re ever so soft to the touch, you’ll find yourself with a full-blown plum addiction.

Which is exactly what we’ve developed here at Katering HQ. We’ve had to come up with a way to devour as many plums as possible before they disappear, so we created this gorgeous plum and apple crumble that makes use of the last plums and crisp, new season Granny Smith apples. In the interest of enabling your new addiction, we’ve shared the recipe, below.

Enjoy!

Plum, apple and almond crumble

8 large plums, halved, stoned, and chopped into large chunks
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
80g brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
The finely grated zest of one orange
Crumble
180g plain flour
Pinch of salt
140g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
60g rolled oats
75g Demerara sugar
30g sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 200C. Place the chopped plum, apple, sugar, cinnamon, orange zest and 100ml water in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Cover and cook gently for 5 minutes or until apples are softened. Transfer to a shallow, medium ovenproof serving dish and set aside.

To make the crumble, place the flour and salt in a bowl. Using your fingertips, rub in the chilled butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the oats, Demerara sugar and almonds. Scatter the crumble over the fruit in large chunks. Bake for 30 minutes or until crumble is golden. Serve with fresh vanilla ice-cream or cream.

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