I must be plum crazy. There just isn’t anything about plums I don’t like. They are easy to pit*, you don’t have to peel them, and they are just too delicious for words. And when you combine them with spices, sugar, and a crunchy topping, there is just nothing better. Well, except of course if you get the plums free of charge. (There’s absolutely nothing better than free fruit!) Which is just what happened to me last week.
We were over at our friends Mark and Vicki’s beautiful home in Mount Vernon, and their plum trees were covered with fruit. Vicki had been canning plum this and that until even she, who also happens to be “plum crazy” had thrown her hands in the air and declared – enough! So we were asked if we would like to take a few bushels home, (no thank you), but we would gladly accept a few (thank-you very much)!
So one of the creations Vicki had prepared was a Fresh Plum Relish. It was absolutely delicious. So I begged for the recipe, changed it just a bit, and came up with Fresh Plum and Dried Fig Chutney (recipe to follow later this week). I also decided to make a freezer jam. It too turned out amazing. So look for my Spicy Plum Freezer Jam recipe in the near future too.
But the pièce de ré·sis·tance, mainly because it is a stand-alone dish and not merely an accompaniment, is this delightful crunch.
The fruit part is sweet and lightly spiced, while the topping is crunchy, sweet, and buttery. In other words, there is just nothing not to like! So join my club of plum crazies, and fix one of these recipes starring fresh plums while they are at their peak and not coincidentally at their cheapest price of the year. Or better yet, find a friend with a sagging plum tree and offer to exchange a jar of freezer jam for a bag of plums. That would be what I call a win/win situation for everyone involved. And again Mark and Vicki, thanks for the fruit. It went to good use.
- 2 T. + ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- 1½ c. brown sugar, lightly packed, divided
- 3 T. plum vodka, crème de cassis liqueur, or any raspberry flavored liqueur like Chambord or Framboise
- 6 c. chopped plums (no need to peel)
- ¾ c. granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- ¾ c. oats
- ½ c. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
- vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream
Whisk together the 2 tablespoons of flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ¾ cup of the brown sugar, and the plum vodka. Stir in the plums and pour the mixture into a lightly buttered 8 x 8-inch glass baking dish. Combine the remaining ¾ cup flour, granulated sugar, remaining ¾ cup brown sugar, salt, oats, and butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, cut the butter into the mixture by hand.) Mix on medium low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. Scatter evenly over the top of the plums.
Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the plums are bubbling and the top is browned.
Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream.
*If you ever have trouble pitting plums, just cut them in 6-8 sections top to bottom. Then simply peel the sections away from the fruit. BTW, this works for any fruit with a pit.