Plum Crumble

August 3, 2011

Baking


I love making fruit crumbles.  They are one of my favorite baked goods, the combo of crunchy crumbles and soft fruit…siiigghhh, its only one of the best match-ups out there, except for the salty/sweet pairing. Fruit crumbles are so yielding that you can do one with as little as 2 pieces of fruit.  You can toss just about any type of fruit into a crumble…well except for bananas, somehow I don’t think they would fare well though I don’t know for sure as I have never tried them…

My days off are a little odd, most people when they have a day off will for the  most part sleep in and chill if there is nothing pressing going on, you know just kind of  “laz” around.  Me, my eyes pop open about an hour after I would normally wake up which means 4:30am at the latest usually,  I am ready to rocket out of the bed and spend the day cooking.  So what’s a body to do when The Husband still has about an hour to sleep until he has to get ready for work?  Make a fruit crumble!  There is no mixer involved to wake the dead, no electric knife to annoy with is dentist’s drill high-pitched 100 decibel whine to aggravate the neighbors three houses down. No chatter of the whisk hitting the sides of the stainless steel bowl as I whip up some heavy cream.  It’s the perfect dish to make at the crack of dawn…or 4:30 am which ever comes first.

Stone fruits are in season right now with peaches and plums  in abundance in my area.  I had made plans to do a batch or 3 of plum jam with the black plums I picked up a few days ago but Plum Crumble kept calling my name.  The down side is I REALLY don’t need a whole pan of Plum Crumble sitting around my house, because I would be as big as a house.  So I passed off this round of Plum Crumble to some wonderful people who are always up to eating my creations.  I was just interested in the process of creating this recipe not the end product.  They on the other hand with the exception of The Hungry Neophyte, are interested in the end product.  The Hungry Neophyte is interested in both which is a double win all around.  I love that when I go back in after delivering one of these “creations” I almost always get the debate on what I put into or did to the creation.  Having these wonderful people pick apart my cooking is a high compliment to me.  It shows me an engaged eater, something I don’t see to often today.  Eating to fill the void is fine when one is super busy,  but to slow down and ponder or debate what one is eating means slowing down the busyness of everyday life to focus on what you are doing.  Its allowing yourself to actually think while enjoying a well constructed meal, baked good or what have you.  To me it means you are actually present in the moment which is why I consider it a compliment as these extremely busy people are giving me some of their precious time in the middle of a busy day.  A cook can not ask for more than that…

Plum Crumble

3 lbs cubed Plums (or fruit of your choice)

2 c Oats (Red Mill are the BEST!)

3/4 Sugar

1/2 c Muscadavo Sugar (or Dk. brown sugar)

1.2 c Lt. Brown Sugar

1 c Chopped Walnuts (or Pecans)

1/2 c Butter (softened)

1/2 +1TB AP Flour

1 Lemon (Zest only)

1 1/2 ts Cinnamon

1 Ts Vanilla Bean Paste (or vanilla extract)

1/2 Ts Fresh Ground Nutmeg

1/2 Ts Ginger ( fresh grated)

1/4 Ts Kosher Salt

In a large mixing bowl put the cubed Plums, 1TB AP Flour, 1/3 c Walnuts, 3/4 c Oats, 1/2 Ts Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Salt, Vanilla Bean Paste, 3/4 c Sugar,  Lemon Zest. Toss everything together and let it sit while you put together the crumble topping.

Crumble topping~

In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine both brown sugars, remaining flour, Oats, Cinnamon, pinch of Kosher salt, Butter (reserve 2 TB).  Combine with a pastry cutter untill all the butter is combined into the dry ingredients stir in the walnuts. Set aside for now.

Give your plums a stir to mix in any juice that has leached out, pour into a baking dish and pat down to remove any large voids.  With the reserved 2 Tb of Butter cut into small pieces and sprinkle over the top of the plums like so…

Nothing fancy you just need to get it on there.

Now you have to make a decision do you want your crumble top to be more like a crust or more like loose crumbles.  The example I made I wanted it to be more crust like.  So if you are going that way then you will pat the crumble topping down on the firm side. I like mine pressed all the way to the edges of the pan but that is just me…

You can still see some of the lumps of butter…

     OK now it’s off to the oven…350 degrees for about an hour.  I would place a cookie sheet under the pan as the syrupy juices will bubble out and make a mess all over the oven.  I even put  layer of foil on my cookie sheet as I HATE to clean the syrup mess off my cookie sheet.

I serve this warm crumble with either vanilla ice cream or my personal favorite buttermilk.  There is something about the tang of the buttermilk that highlights the fruitiness of the crumble. I hope you fall in love with fruit crumbles like I have after trying this recipe.

Yeah it is as good as it looks…

Now go play with your food.

WikiJan

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4 Comments on “Plum Crumble”

  1. Hungry Neophyte Says:

    Holy Plum!
    Tart and sweet swashbuckling on the tastebuds…”En Garde.”

    Individual question…what are your other favorite fruits to crumble?

    Reply

    • Wikijancooks Says:

      Glad you enjoyed it! Still think is a shame you had never had it before….
      I think my favorite is Granny Smith Apple Crumble with buttermilk poured over the top, it has the real tart apple going up against the sweetness of the crumble topping that is for me perfect. Though Peach comes in a close second, I would have to caramelize the peaches with some Muscadavo sugar and either Brandy or Bourbon before putting them in the crumble to up the flavor even more. Blueberry would be great if it were not for the tiny little seeds, I hate the seeds.

      Reply

  2. Kentucky Fried Chic Says:

    Dear Janimal,
    I loved the Plum Crumble. Even reheated in the microwave (gasp) a few days later, the crumble managed to maintain its’, well, crumbiness. The nutmeg and ginger combined elegantly with the butter to make a full bodied plumy flavor.

    Quite a plum dandy!

    Reply

    • Wikijancooks Says:

      KFC,
      Thank you so much for the kind words! Reheating in the microwave is usually how I end up doing it as The Husband is not patient enough to allow me to reheat in the oven where the crumble crisps up a bit. Your choice of nickname cracks me up as I have a knitting group that meets at Commerce that goes by “Kentucky Fried Sticks.”
      I was surprised to find out The Hungry Neophyte had never had plum crumble! I told him he was a poor deprived soul for never having had it. I will be interested in seeing what crumble you both come up with. The ginger was my wild card when this thing started taking form in my brain I am so glad it paired so well with the plums, now I have to make this for The Husband as he didn’t have any before leaving for work that day.

      WikiJan

      Reply

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