Wash and halve plums. Remove the stones and cut the fruit into chunks, placing them in a bowl. Add the 2 tablespoons of sugar and cornflour/cornstarch and toss to coat. Tip into the ovenproof dish and set aside.
Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles small crumbs. Mix in 70g (2½ oz) sugar. Stir through the buttermilk or yogurt until combined. A food processor does all of this in no time.
Scatter balls of the dough over the plums, leaving some of the fruit exposed. The balls of dough will expand when cooked.
Sprinkle the top with the remaining sugar and bake for 40 minutes until the juices are bubbling and the top is pale golden in colour.
These buttermilk pancakes with apple and maple syrup are thicker, North American-style pancakes. The addition of the buttermilk in the pancakes and the topping of sweet dessert apples, all smothered with maple syrup, make this a delicious dessert.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and stir in the sugar. Make a well in the centre and add the buttermilk, eggs and most of the milk. Gradually whisk the flour into the wet ingredients, adding enough extra milk to make a smooth, fairly thick batter. Stir in the vanilla extract and then set aside to stand for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2 and warm 6 plates.
Peel, core and thickly slice the apples. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and add the apple slices in a single layer. Dust with the icing sugar and cook over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes on each side until golden. Tip onto a warmed plate, cover with foil and keep warm in the oven while cooking the pancakes.
Heat a large, heavy gauged frying pan over a medium heat and melt the butter in it. Pour into a small bowl and use this to smear the pan between cooking each pancake using a wodge of kitchen paper. The pan should be lightly greased, not running with butter. Add 4 tablespoonfuls/¼ cup of batter and cook for 1–2 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake and the underside is golden brown. Turn and cook for a further minute. Lift out on to a warmed plate, cover loosely with foil, and pop back in the oven to keep warm. Repeat using the remaining batter until there are 12 pancakes.
Pile three pancakes on each plate and top with the apple slices, pour over some maple syrup and serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche.