Posts Tagged ‘plum crisp’



I haven’t posted in a while, but I’ve been cooking and eating plenty. Aside from a two-week holiday to six East Coast cities and towns, I have spent countless hours in biblical history. What’s that, you say? Well, in reality, it’s likely just the result of the drought we’re experiencing throughout California, but we’ve been plagued with everything from mites on the chickens to fleas on the cats to ants invading our kitchen. And I’m not alone in this plague of pestilence. Even the restaurants in our local towns have been battling the ant problem. Ask for a cup of tea, and you’re likely to get it with a pinch of tiny ants. Every possible little pest is hungry and thirsty and running amuck since temperatures continue to run higher than normal and their normal food supplies are scarce–or so I’ve been told. Now I could launch into a larger discussion about global warming, but let’s save that for another time and get back to food.

The most amazing plums keep piling up on the produce stands in my area. They’re rich in color, incredibly juicy and sweet as can be. I don’t know many recipes that use plums, but plum crisp would beat them all anyway. I find that cooking plums with a little lemon zest and sugar really concentrates their flavor. I’ve made this crisp using plums and apples, but plums alone offers the most intense flavor.



7-8 plums and/or pluots, pitted and quartered

zest from a lemon

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp cornstarch (optional)

1 tbsp coconut or cane sugar

3/4 cup porridge oats

1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped

1/2 cup almond flour/meal

1/2 coconut or cane sugar

1 pinch of sea salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 8 pieces



Preheat the oven to 375F.

In a medium-size bowl, mix the plum segments, lemon zest, and vanilla. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp sugar and the cornstarch if using, and toss to coat evenly. Evenly divide and scoop the fruit mixture into four ramekins.

plums rawplumscps

In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients together with a fork. Break down any lumps in the almond flour and stir until everything is thoroughly combined. Using a pastry cutter or two knives and two good hands, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Spoon out evenly over the fruit in the four ramekins.

plums filled

Place the ramekins in the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the crumb topping turns golden brown and the fruit mixture is bubbling. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes (or tongues will get burned!).

Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or coconut milk ice cream.




Read Full Post »

crisp1I love the summer months when I can watch the fruit ripening on my own trees and see the stands at the market overflowing with peaches, nectarines, plums and berries. I also love that all this wonderful food can be purchased from local sources and at a much better price than at any other time of the year.

When I want dessert, but I’m feeling lazy, I’ll simply pour a handful of different kinds of berries over a little vanilla ice cream. When company is over I’ll make a pretty strawberry tart or a French-inspired apricot tart. When I want something simple but less fussy, I’ll make a crisp. Crisps are also a great dessert choice because they can be prepared in advance and placed in the oven when you serve your guests their main courses, or pre-cooked and simply reheated shortly before you want to serve the dessert course. They’re also a favorite of mine because they require relatively little sweetener, and there are numerous way to “health” them up. My favorite fruits to use in crisps are plums. I think their flavor gets greatly enhanced when baked.

DSC_0237At this very moment, the branches of our Shiro plum tree are drooping, weighed down by all the sweet, ripe plums. They’re too high up for me to get, even with a ladder, so I regularly need to wait for my other, taller half to get them down. The other day he picked a big bowl full with the help of my son, and after snacking on several of the plums, I decided to use the rest in a quick and easy crisp.


2 lbs ripe plums, washed, dried, halved and pitted

1 cup blueberries or blackberries, washed and dried

1-2 tbsp. cane sugar

zest of half a lemon

1 tsp vanilla extract

8 tbsp. cold, unsalted butter

3/4 cup oats (quick, old-fashioned or steel-cut)

1 cup whole-grain spelt or barley flour

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

dash of nutmeg, ground cloves and ground ginger

1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans


Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a large bowl, toss together the first five ingredients. Spread evenly in the bottom of a deep 8-inch x 8-inch or 7-inch x 10-inch baking dish. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the butter until it is mixed thoroughly and evenly with the dry ingredients and resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture over the crisp and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the juices of the fruit bubble on the sides and the topping is golden brown. Let it cool slightly just so there are no scalded tongues.

Serve alone or with a dollop of whipped cream, coconut whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Want to “health up” your crisp?

– Substitute 1/4 cup of one of the flours with almond flour/meal

– Add 2 tbsp ground flax to the crumb topping

– Substitute half or more of the butter with coconut oil

– Substitute half or more of the cane sugar with coconut sugar crystals

– Substitute finely chopped dates for a portion of the sugar if you don’t want so much added sugar

Happy crisping!

Read Full Post »

Cook the Beans

inspired by ingredients, smells and Travels, vegan & vegetarian

Cooking Without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

Selma's Table

Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful - stories and recipes from a wonderful life...

%d bloggers like this: