Fruit crumble is my go-to recipe whenever I want to make an eggless dessert. The preparation is quite easy; it consists of mixing flour, sugar and cold butter into crumbs. To add more body to this version of the crumble, I adjusted the quantities and blended oatmeal into the mixture.
As for the fruit, I used black plums. Unfortunately, we already harvested all the plums from the garden a few weeks ago for the hazelnut plum pie. Luckily, I was able to find the same kind of plums at the farmers' market that were just as delicious. I peeled the plums, seared them in butter and sugar and finished them with a dust of flour. The fruit was then covered with the crumble mixture and baked until golden and crisp.
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Servings: 8 servings
1 dozen ripe plums, the quantity varies with the size of the fruit
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), cold and diced
1 cup all-purpose flour, + 1 tablespoon
½ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)
1-½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1-½ cups oatmeal
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Prepping the plums:
Wash the plums, peel (I used a Messermeister vegetable peeler, which peels very thinly) and cut them in half. Transfer to a bowl. Coat them in lemon juice.
In a non-stick pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the plums and cook until well seared. Sprinkle with brown sugar (if used). Toss well. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour. Once the juice slightly thickens, turn off the heat.
Add vanilla extract and set aside.
For the crumble topping:
In a bowl, combine the flour, remaining butter, granulated sugar and salt. Mix using the back of fork (or a stainless-steel pastry blender) until it forms sandy crumbs of butter, sugar and flour. Add the oatmeal. Do NOT over-mix. Store in the refrigerator until chilled.
Assembly time: You can serve the crumble family-style in a large, deep casserole dish or serve it individually in little molds (see tips).
Line the molds with squares of parchment paper. Cover the molds with plums. Evenly spoon the crumble topping over the plum filling.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 50-55 minutes, until the top is crisp and golden and the filling is bubbling.
Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes.
Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
If you like, decorate by dusting the top with powdered sugar using a fine mesh strainer.
I used small 4-inch square ceramic tart molds.
If you want a crisper topping, you can add a paper-thin slice of butter to each ramekin prior to baking.
To make the crumbly topping, it's important to use cold butter.
The darker the skin of the plums, the sweeter they are. You can also ripen the fruits by putting them together with a banana in a paper lunch bag.
Parchment paper is very convenient when you use molds that aren't non-stick. If you're extra cautious, grease the molds with butter before lining them with parchment paper.
I use McCormick brandy extract. If you don't have any, you can use the real thing.
You can make fruit crumble dessert with any other fruit such as nectarines, peaches, berries, pears or figs, depending on the season. Be creative!
Check out my other desserts.