800g ripe red plums, halved and pitted
1 vanilla pod / 1tsp vanilla extract
85g/3oz caster sugar plus 2 tbsp
100ml amaretto or other almond-flavored liquor
For the crumble topping:
115g ground almonds
155g butter, chilled and cubed
Heat oven to 180C/gas 4. Butter a large baking dish.
Put the plums in a large saucepan. Split the vanilla pod in half lengthwise with a sharp knife and use the tip of the knife to scrape the seeds directly into the saucepan. Add the vanilla pod, sugar and amaretto.( If using vanilla extract, add at this stage in place of the vanilla seeds and pod) Simmer the plums over gentle heat for about 5 minutes until softened. Remove and discard the vanilla pod and transfer the fruit to the prepared baking dish.
To make the crumble topping put the ground almonds in a mixing bowl and rub in the butter. Stir in the oats and sugar. Sprinkle the mixture over the plums and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the plum juices are bubbling around the edge of the dish. Serve warm or cold with cream. This crumble is best eaten on the day it is made but can be refrigerated for up to 2days.
Life always gives big opportunities in the form of small hints. The big move in Pankaj Bhadouria’s life came with a small step when she decided to leave her successful teaching career spanning over 16 years and enter India's 1st televised cookery reality show - MasterChef India on the leading GEC - Star Plus.
And as they say, fortune favours the brave, Pankaj went on to become a worthy winner and with it India's first ever MasterChef.
The comfort of the classroom gave way to the adulations, accolades and a host of achievements. Pankaj hosted her first cookery show - "Chef Pankaj ka Zayka" on Star Plus during Sep-Oct 2011 where she showcased her passion for cooking. The success of this daily show added another flavor to her sweet success.