PLUM PARFAITS

Serves 4.

Note: To toast walnuts, spread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven until fragrant and slightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove and cool. (Walnuts can be toasted a day ahead. Cool and keep covered at room temperature.)

• 2 lb. medium ripe dark red or purple plums, rinsed and dried

• 1/3 c. sugar, plus more if needed

• 3/4 tsp. ground ginger

• 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

• Mascarpone Whipped Cream (see recipe)

• 1/3 c. walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (see Note)

• 4 fresh mint sprigs

Directions

Halve plums lengthwise, and pit. Slice each half, lengthwise, into quarters. Then cut quarters in half crosswise.

Place a large heavy skillet over medium heat until bottom of pan is hot. Add plums and sprinkle with sugar, ginger and cinnamon. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves and becomes syrupy and plums are tender when pierced with a knife, about 6 minutes for medium-ripe plums. (If plums are riper, the cooking time will be shorter, only about 3 minutes.) Watch carefully, and do not overcook or plums will become mushy. Remove skillet from heat and cool plums to room temperature. Taste and if desired season with more sugar. (Plums can be prepared 3 hours ahead. Leave at cool room temperature.)

To assemble parfaits, use four sundae or wide-mouthed wine glasses. Spoon a few tablespoons of the plum mixture, including the juices, into each glass and top with a few tablespoons of the whipped cream. Sprinkle with some walnuts. Repeat this layering two more times in each glass. Garnish each parfait with a mint sprig. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving when half the mascarpone is used

Calories 356 Fat 19 g Sodium 15 mg

Carbohydrates 47 g Saturated fat 9 g Calcium 51 mg

Protein 4 g Cholesterol 48 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 11/2 fruit, 11/2 other carb, 1/2 high-fat meat, 3 fat.

MASCARPONE WHIPPED CREAM

Makes about 3 cups.

• 1 c. heavy cream

• 6 tbsp. mascarpone cheese

• 2 tbsp. sugar

• 1/4 tsp. vanilla

Directions

With an electric mixer, beat the cream, mascarpone, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl until peaks form. (Mascarpone cream can be made 3 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)