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Breakfast Panini with Almond Butter and Plum Preserves

This method for quick plum preserves is an easy way to make a small amount of jam without having to use canning jars or pectin. Be sure to choose organic plums and leave the skins on; not only do the skins add antioxidants, color and flavor, but they also help to thicken the preserves.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb. red-skinned plums 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice 
  • 2 to 4 Tbs. almond butter 
  • 4 slices country-style bread, each 1/2 inch thick 
  • 4 Tbs. part-skim ricotta cheese 

Directions:

Halve, pit and coarsely chop the plums. In a saucepan over low heat, combine the plums and sugar and cook, stirring, until the plums have released their juices and the sugar is dissolved, 5 to 8 minutes. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the mixture thickens and the plums have a jamlike consistency, 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice. Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Preheat a nonstick electric panini maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Spread 1 to 2 Tbs. almond butter on each of 2 bread slices. Spoon about 2 Tbs. ricotta over the almond butter. Spread about 1 Tbs. of the plum preserves on each of the remaining 2 bread slices, then cover each sandwich with one of the slices, plum preserve side down.

Place the sandwiches on the preheated panini maker and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions until crisp and golden, 3 to 5 minutes. (If you have a panini maker that allows you to exert pressure to flatten the sandwich, don’t compress too much, or you will lose some delicious filling.)

Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board and cut in half. Serve immediately. Makes 2 sandwiches.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Eat Well, by Charity Ferreira (Oxmoor House, 2008).