I looked over and up from where I had just stepped on a small yellow plum and sitting on the slant of the road, was a tree full of the ripe, tangy little fruit. A day later we went on a walk in the forest and came across another tree full of little red ones-and after picking a small basket and stuffing ourselves with them on the slow walk back, I knew it was time to start baking.
Nothing satisfies the need for a light summer dessert better than a crumble, and I am hoping I’ll get to test and improve this recipe with another basket of hand-picked fruit over the next couple of weeks, as I would have liked a bit more crunch on top (I’m thinking candied almonds or pecans crushed over the top as a garnish), but the bottom was almost like a cross between a fruit compote and a pudding.
Tart Plum Crumble
-5 cups plums, pitted and cut into chunks roughly the size you’d like in your crumble (as you can see, my plums were so small I only had to cut them in half)
-1 3/4 c sugar
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
-1 3/4 cup flour
-1 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/4 tsp nutmeg
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/2 cup milk
-2 tsp vanilla extract
Option: Add 1/2 cup of roughly ground walnuts, pecans or almonds to the struesal topping once the mixture has been divided for an added crunch.
Pay close attention here. You will start with one bowl, divide and add ingredients to both halves and then bring them together so that you can enjoy the ‘fruits of your labor’ (couldn’t resist, sorry).
1) Combine salt, 1 1/2 cups sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cut in butter.
2) Cut in the flour until you get your ‘crumble’ texture.
3) SEPARATE your mixture into roughly two halves; the part you will use for the bottom can be a little less than half.
4) With the mix you will use for the bottom, add baking powder and eggs. Mix-it will be fairly liquid. Pour into the bottom of a baking dish lined with parchment paper. And bake at 350°F for 10 minutes or until it is just starting to set at the edges. Take out and let cool.
5) The rest of the butter, flour and sugar will be used as your crumble topping. Add nuts if you wish.
6)Take your bowl of fruit and add the milk and 1/4 c. of sugar.
7) When you’ve taken the bottom out of the oven, you can add the fruit and then the topping.
8) Put back in the oven at 350°F until the edges look done and the crumble is golden brown on top. Or between 20-30 minutes.
Serve with some yogurt, whipped cream or crème fraîche and enjoy!