When I was a child I liked to visit my gran in late summer for afternoon tea: fresh bread and home-made jam, sticky buns and seed cake. For me, the favourite part of the visit was exploring her garden. Out from under the watchful eyes of the adults I would find amazing places to sit and dream. The long grass next to the enormous oak gave me shelter from the sun, whilst under the lilac tree, next to the lavender walk; I could breathe in the heady smell of summer and listen to the bees working hard to make honey before autumn. Like most little girls I dreamt of meeting a handsome prince, and walking down the aisle wearing a beautiful dress and carrying a bouquet of roses, lavender and lilac. But my favourite place in the garden was always under the heavily-laden Victoria plum tree: the sweetness of the ripe plums filled the air, and even before I put the fruit to my lips, I could taste the rich, sugariness of the sun ripened fruit. My love affair with plums has continued to this day: plum jam spread thickly on toast or crusty bread is still impossible to resist.
Find the full recipe here – you can download it too.