Plum Crisp

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What do you do when the only avid fruit eater in the house has gone on a business trip and left you and the kids with 5 lbs of rapidly ripening plums? No, its not a riddle. Its the inspiration for this month's LocalHarvest recipe. But first, I must introduce myself, my avid fruit eater, and our little family.

My name is Amber (aka, Mrs. LocalHarvest). My avid fruit eater is Guillermo (Mr. LocalHarvest), and our little family is Joaquin (age 7) and Lizzie (age 6). Lest we forget Snowy (buoyant terrier/poodle dog), our 3 chickens, and Lynda the Neurotic Bunny.

I?m happy to be back writing for LocalHarvest again. Some of you may remember Guillermo and I's famous Bike2Barn trip, a blog I wrote about our illuminating start as a couple, and a trip on a motorcycle from Santa Cruz, California to Austin, Texas visiting numerous LocalHarvest farms along the way. Seven years later, and I've been asked to write again.

I love cooking and baking, but mostly I love to feed my family delicious food. It is a huge part of how I show them my love. It has to taste good, look good, and be real. I wouldn't say that I am the 'healthiest' cook (no hippy food here! bring the butter! pass the salt! pour on the sugar!), but I do my best to cook with real ingredients, as local as I can get them.

Now back to how I solved our connundrum with the fruit. I knew I had to act fast (the fruit flies told me to), so this is what I came up with: dessert! Because that is how I like to eat fruit - dipped in Nutella or with a side of ice-cream. Tsk tsk.

So, here goes...

Recipe for Plum Crisp
serves 6 - 8

  • 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2in pieces
  • 1 cup finely chopped nuts (my favorite is walnuts, but pecans and almonds are fine too)

Fruit Filling:

  • 3 1/2 - 4 lbs plums (pit and cut into 1/3-inch wedges)
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup sugar (depending on the ripeness and variety of your plums)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca

1. Allow butter to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and toss to coat. Pinch butter chunks and dry mixture between fingertips until mixture looks like wet sand. Add chopped nuts and mix to distribute evenly. Proceed with preparing fruit, refrigerating topping in the meantime (at least 15 minutes).

2. Combine all fruit filling ingredients in a large bowl.

3. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Scrape fruit mixture with rubber spatula into 9-inch round deep dish pie plate (or 8-inch square). Distribute chilled topping evenly over fruit.

4. Bake for 40 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue baking until fruit is bubbling and topping turns golden brown, about 5 more minutes. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream.

Adapted from Cook?s Illustrated Best Recipe (1999).

I hope that you enjoy feeding yourself and your loved ones this classic crisp! It also makes a lovely breakfast (if you happen to have any leftovers, which I doubt). Until next time...

- Amber

By: | Sep 30, 2015 01:35 PM | Permalink
My mother made a similar crisp using apples or pears that was absolutely delicious especially right out of the oven! The house smelled heavenly!Thanks for sharing and bringing back wonderful memories...I think I'll make some (crisp and memories) with my family tonight :)
Amber Payet says:    (Oct 2, 2015 12:00 AM)

Thank you! I hope they all (crisp and memories) turn out well! If you make this with apples, then I would omit the tapioca. They have enough pectin to sufficiently thicken the sauce. Bon appetit! - Amber

By: Linda Radwanski | Sep 30, 2015 12:01 AM | Permalink
This recipe seems to be the perfect dessert to take to our football tailgates!

I really enjoyed the little backstory of this avid recipe writer!!

Thank you!

Can hardly wait to dig into this!! Yum!

Linda England Radwanski

Amber Payet says:    (Oct 2, 2015 12:00 AM)

Thank you, Linda. I'm sure it will be gobbled right up at your tailgates, especially those early morning ones. Enjoy! - Amber

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