Plumptious plums

Enjoy this month’s pick of the seasonal crop with a fish dish featuring beautiful homegrown plums

August is the month for sweet, juicy, delicious British plums. There are nearly 300 varieties in the UK – many have been cultivated here for centuries – with some, like the popular Victoria, better for eating and others for cooking. Take care not to binge on plums – they are a very effective laxative!

Max Murphy, head chef of the Malt Shovel at Barston has picked a fish recipe with a plum marinade as his star seasonal dish.

Pan Fried Halibut with Gin & Earl Grey Marinated Plums

halibut with plums


  • Fillet of halibut
  • Butternut squash
  • 6 plums (quartered)
  • 6 juniper berries
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 25 ml gin
  • 1 Earl Grey teabag
  • 200ml water
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp soya beans
  • 2 tbsp plum tomato (diced)
  • 1 anans tomato (diced)


Season and pan fry the halibut in sunflower oil (flesh side down) for 5 to 6 minutes. Turn over add butter leave to rest To make the plum marinade: Flambé gin in a pan, add 3 plums, sugar, star anise, teabag, juniper berries and cook until plums are soft. Strain all ingredients, add back into pan with remaining 3 plums, again until plums are soft. Leave the plums with the syrup in an airtight container to marinate (longer the better), heat to serve. Add tomatoes, soya beans and 3 tbsp of the plum syrup (from the above marinade). Gently warm up to serve. Roast quartered butternut squash in sunflower oil. Plate and garnish with dill, borage flowers and marigold petals

The Malt Shovel at Barston, Barston Lane,
Barston, Solihull
B92 0JP,
tel: 01675 443 223