Last night we made a yummy plum crisp from those that I found at the local grocery store. They were Fortunes, I think – the kind with the black skin and lighter fruit inside. By all accounts, this little dessert is a hit with both the under-12 set and parents alike. We made a crisp because I think this dish delivers more fruit punch than pies since there is less dough involved. Our recipe selection came from Epicurious which is my new go-to place for recipes. I think of it as the new Betty Crocker Joy of Cooking reference, but gourmet, and on-line. What could be easier?
The process goes begins with making the dough in a food processor, which consists of 1 stick butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup flour, 3/4 cup rolled oats, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. It also calls for a handful of almonds here, but I used pine nuts instead and put them on the top before baking, and did not incorporate into the topping mixture. The pine nuts give a buttery flavor which I think mellows out the tartness of the fruit a bit. Put everything into a food processor until combined.
For the filling, halve and pit 3 pounds of plums and place in a skillet. Then combine 3/4 cup water with 4 teaspoons cornstarch, and combine with the plums. Add 1/2 cup sugar. Mix and simmer about 15 minutes, until thick. At this point you’ll notice gorgeous thick reddish pink juice in the pan. After simmering, put into a 9″ x 15″ pan and cover with the topping. I like this topping a lot, especially for juicy plums because it is really dense, and seems to soak up some of the juice. Bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool about 30 minutes before devouring it.
Literally, we couldn’t eat our dinner fast enough. We all thought that the taste is unique – both tart and sweet at the same time. Very close to raspberries, but a little more tart. What’s unique about the plum is the amount of juice that these guys have, which makes this dessert especially great with ice cream. And I hate harp on it, but their deep luscious color is so highly pigmented, it seems almost otherworldly. All in all, this little dish is delightful. And it made me fall just a little harder for the plum.