Monday, October 4, 2010

Plum Strawberry Crumble

If I'm really focused I can be forgetful at times... or my mind wanders and I don't pay attention as I should.
I walk into the laundry room when I initially meant to go to the kitchen and wonder what I'm doing there... and I completely forget where I was supposed to be or what I was supposed to be doing.

I've put my keys and cell phone in the fridge while having something else on my mind.

The other day I put lemons in the dishwasher. I KNOW the reason for it- I washed them since I planned to use them, and I put them in there to drain while dealing with the other things on the counter... but I closed the dishwasher. They were completely lost to me and I didn't find them until I no longer needed them.

Strange segue, yes I'm aware of it, but there are times when you only have a little while to use certain produce. Don't forget about them! If you see them, get them while they're at their peak.
This is a great early fall dessert, when there are still "ok" strawberries available (not really the best for eating though) and the plums are nice.

In addition to seasonality, another thing that I think is important is not to waste something (food-wise) if it can be used for something else. Vanilla beans, for instance (hey, they're not cheap). If you split the pot, scrape out the seeds, and then simmer then pod in cream for a custard, you can rinse the pod after straining it from the cream, let it dry, and put it into a covered container with sugar.

Vanilla sugar- they sell that stuff!
It has to sit at least a week to infuse the sugar with flavor, but it's great for finishing desserts, as a little flavor enhancer, or in coffee (if you happen to like coffee with sugar).

Back to the dessert...
It's an unexpected sweet and tart fruit combination with oatmeal cookieness on top, the fruits are softened and enhanced by doing some time in the oven.

I like individual portions served in ramekins- things look fancier and more put together for "presentation"- but I suppose it's also a good thing if you're at all concerned about portion control.

It makes about 10, 1/2 cup (4-6 oz. or so) ramekin servings that are great served warm with a little vanilla ice cream.

Of course, you can bake it in a larger pan (9x13 perhaps). Just remember to place the baking dish on a sheet pan before baking in case of bubbling hot fruit juice overflow.
Cleaning a pan is easier than cleaning the oven. You may need to add a little time to that which is specified in the recipe- just keep an eye on the crumble for any extra time you add. Look for bubbling juices and golden brown crust on top!

This dessert is adapted from Donna Hay's Entertaining.

Autumn Crumble
serves 8-10

6 red plums, washed and chopped
16 oz strawberries, washed and cut into quarters (depending on size)
5 T sugar
3 T lemon juice
3/4 t cinnamon

1 c oats
2/3 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c flour
1 t ground cinnamon
10 T butter, softened (if unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Gently toss plums, strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon. Evenly divide the fruit mixture amongst 10 1/2 cup ramekins or pour it all into a 9X13 inch baking dish. Place the ramekins (or baking dish) on a sheet pan.
In a separate bowl, mix the oats, sugar, cinnamon, flour and butter until combined. Crumble the mixture evenly over the fruit.
Bake approximately 30 minutes, or until the juices are bubbling and top is set and golden. Serve warm or room temperature.


  1. Natalie originally made this for a group of very nice young men, they loved it, so she made it for us at home the next day and WE All loved it-- it is perfect for morning too!

    *N's mom

  2. I apologize if anyone copied this recipe (or actually made it) prior to this note. I initially forgot to include the cinnamon in the crumble part of the dish. I just looked at it and noticed the mistake. Oops. Sorry!

  3. "If I'm really focused I can be forgetful at times..." - You had explained that already, don't worry. The book will have to be proof read.

  4. Yummy! When are you going to post the raspberry soufle recipe??? Oh my goodness that was FANTASTIC! Maybe you already have, I'll have to search your older posts.

  5. No, it hasn't been posted yet- I haven't gotten to it. I was thinking about it soon, but raspberries aren't in season...
    BUT, it is good...
    I'm glad you liked it!