- 1 pound ripe Italian plums
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 7 cups water, or as needed
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 2 cups white cornmeal
- Confectioners’ sugar
Wash the plums and dry them well. Cut them in half and remove the pits. In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the plums, 1 cup of water, the sugar and cinnamon. Bring to a boil; adjust the level of heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the plums are very tender but still chunky and the liquid is syrupy, about 30 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and keep warm.
Meanwhile, in a small pan heat the milk over medium heat until small bubbles form around the edges. Cover the pan and keep it warm over low heat.
In a heavy cast-iron, enameled cast-iron or other heavy 3- to 4-quart saucepan, bring 6 cups of the water to a boil with the salt. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Prepare the polenta, adding the hot milk in place of the “back-up” water. The total cooking time after adding all the polenta is about 20 minutes or longer if you decide to give it the extra cooking time mentioned in the Basic Polenta recipe. The polenta should be as dense as cooked oatmeal and begin to gather around the spoon as you stir.
Scoop the polenta into warm bowls, dipping the spoon in water between scoops. Spoon some of the plum mixture over the polenta and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.