Plum Crisp with Pistachio, Oat and Almond Meal Topping

A simple, honey-sweetened, plum dessert -

These gorgeous little ruby red plums are extra sweet because they were hand-picked by friends. Jordan and her husband have an enormous plum tree in their front yard, which hasn’t yielded much fruit in years’ past, but this year is different.

This year, the tree’s limbs are drooping under the weight of ripening plums. Walking along the sidewalk to their front porch is like walking through a purple polka-dotted candy land.

plum crisp ingredients

I wasn’t sure what to do with my plums once I picked them up. Obviously, I had to make something beautiful out of them, something worthy of my friends’ plum-picking efforts. I really have the sweetest friends.

I thought the plums would make a beautiful plum upside-down cake (I think you could make one out of this honey-sweetened almond cake recipe) or sorbet (which reminded me of this peach and raspberry sorbet from two summers ago). I thought about making chia jam, too, but I’ve doing a lot of those lately. I’ve since found out that Tessa turned her plums into a gorgeous clafoutis. Brilliant!

Gluten-free plum crisp recipe -

I finally settled on my default fruity dessert: a crisp. One can never go wrong with a fuss-free fruit crisp. I topped my fuchsia, honey-sweetened plum crisp with a layer of pistachio, oat and almond meal crumble. I opted for a gluten-free topping so I could share it with friends, buuuuut I ended up eating it all by myself.

By the way, reheated crisp makes a fantastic breakfast. Just add plain yogurt.

honey-sweetened plums

A couple of notes before you start baking. My plums were super juicy, and I made the mistake of transferring all of their juice to the baking dish. That’s why some of the topping sunk down into the crisp. If your plums are super juicy, too, just scoop up the sliced plums with your hands and plop them into the dish, rather than scraping all of the juice in there with them.

Check the recipe notes for suggestions on how to make this crisp vegan and/or nut free. If you don’t have almond meal on hand, check the nut-free notes for an alternative topping that uses regular flour.

You can substitute any nuts for the pistachios. I buy shelled pistachios at Whole Foods, but they are pretty pricy. Slivered almonds would be a more affordable alternative. You really can’t go wrong with a crisp, so don’t hesitate to play with the recipe.

Gluten-free crisp topping - cookieandkate.comIn unrelated news, I am looking to hire a nutrition student to help me make some changes to the site. It would be a short summer gig. I can’t promise that the work itself will be terribly exciting or high paying, but I’d be happy to share insights about blogging and food photography. Contact me if you are interested!

Plum crisp with pistachio, oat and almond meal topping - cookieandkate.comSimple, gluten-free plum crisp with a pistachio, oat and almond meal topping -

Gluten-Free Plum Crisp with Pistachio, Oat and Almond Meal Topping
5.0 from 6 reviews
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 to 8
This simple plum crisp recipe features honey-sweetened summer plums and a gluten-free oat and almond meal topping! Ginger and pistachios send it over the top (but feel free to substitute another nut for the pistachios).
Plum filling
  • 2 pounds plums, halved, pitted and sliced (no need to peel)
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch or 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Gluten-free topping
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup almond meal or almond flour, lightly packed
  • ⅓ cup chopped pistachios, almonds or walnuts
  • ⅓ cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt (regular or Greek)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a 9 by 9-inch baking dish, mix together the sliced plums, honey, arrowroot or cornstarch and cinnamon.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almond meal or flour, pistachios, brown sugar, ginger and salt. Mix in the melted butter and yogurt. Stir until the mixture is moistened throughout.
  3. Dollop spoonfuls of the oat mixture over the filling and use your fingers to break up the mixture until it is evenly distributed (no need to pack it down). Bake for 55 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the top is lightly golden. Let the crisp rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream or plain yogurt, I insist.
Recipe adapted from my pear and cranberry crisp and spiced peach and pistachio crisp (developed for Fitness Magazine).
Make it vegan: I believe you could use melted coconut oil or olive oil in place of the butter and yogurt (use 4 tablespoons oil and add up to 3 more, until the topping mixture is moistened throughout) and maple syrup instead of the honey. I haven't tried these substitutions, though.
Make it nut free: Omit the chopped nuts and use ¾ cup whole wheat flour and ¾ cup oats instead of the almond meal and oats specified above. It will no longer be gluten free. If you want to keep it gluten free, I suspect that you could replace the almond meal with oat flour or more oats (haven't tried that, please comment if you do!).
Storage suggestions: Store this crisp in the refrigerator, covered. It will be good for 4 days or so.
Change it up: Substitute any variety of stone fruit for the plums!
Products used to create this recipe: Bob’s Red Mill arrowroot starch and Crate and Barrel Everyday Square Baker
If you love this recipe: You'll also love my strawberry rhubarb crisp, balsamic stone fruit sundae, individual peach crisps and honey almond cake.



  1. says

    This is exactly the kind of simple dessert I love to make with my backyard plums! Especially useful since you can get ten or twelve of them eaten at one feel swoop. :) And delicious besides!

  2. says

    This is beautiful! I love plums but they are such a gamble, sometimes your plum is lovely and deep red and sweet and other times it is bland and mealy. Boo. But putting them in a crisp and topping them with honey and butter and crumble topping is the great equalizer, they would all be delicious :)

    Do you find that the shelled pistachios you buys taste any different/less fresh than the ones in the shell? Usually buy them in the shell but de-shelling is such a pain.

    • says

      Hmm, good question! I have been buying my shelled pistachios at Whole Foods and they seem to taste very fresh, no different from shelled pistachios. I do not have the patience to shell all those pistachios for a recipe!

  3. says

    This looks divine! I don’t eat a whole lot of desserts (mainly because I tend to have more savoury/spicy taste preferences), but when there’s fresh fruit involved…. that’s my weakness! The plums look stunning. I haven’t been to my farmer’s market in a few weeks but I’m going to grab some next time I’m there. They seem to be far more reliable than peaches, which are so hit and miss!

    • says

      Good point! I have bought so many disappointing peaches and it’s almost impossible to get enough that are ripe at the same time to make a peach dessert. I think you would enjoy this crisp!

  4. says

    I have literally never had a fresh plum. I went through a loooong phase as a young kid of hating all fruit and I just wouldn’t eat any of it. Now I could live off just fruit! NEED to try this one out while all the good summer fruit is here. BTW I hope you see my comment on the cherry chocolate cake… and sort of just disregard what I say about it being too coffee-ish for me. Once it was fully cool (yes, I tried to judge a cake hot out of the oven… oops), it was PERFECT and I couldn’t stop eating it. I think I ‘m going to request that as my birthday cake this year!
    Happy summer :)

    • says

      What! You need to try some plums, Ella! There are several varieties and they all taste different. I’m happy to hear that the cake wasn’t too coffee-ish after all!

  5. says

    Sigh…to have a fruit tree! In my mind I have a whole orchard of fruit trees to make crisps, pies, jams and preserves with. In reality, I live in an 800 square foot studio. Good thing for farmer’s markets! Thanks so much for posting this for us :)

  6. says

    Kate! I have been dreaming about crisps and crumbles lately :) We are in the depths of winter at the moment, but I bet this would be just as delicious with our winter strawberries, or maybe a mix of apples and pears. I am totally on board for crisp breakfasts too. It’s just like super fruity oatmeal really :)
    Also, I started my professional life as a dietitian and would love to be your intern. If only I lived near you (and didn’t have 50 hour work weeks!). Good luck with the changes to the site. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  7. says

    I love eating fruit crisps, or crumbles as we call them in Aussieland! Whether summer or winter, they’re just as delicious… particularly when the fruit is as beautiful as these tiny homegrown plums from Jordan’s tree (yay for friends with bountiful gardens!). I’m loving the addition of almond meal and pistachios here. I can imagine just how delicious the combination would be xx

  8. says

    I am so jealous of your fresh-from-the-tree plums! I tried to buy some the other day and I swear they went bad the day after I brought them home. I may have cried.

    This crisp is a beauty! So much juicy goodness all up in this joint.

    • says

      Aw man, I’m sorry your plums were no good! I just bought some beautiful heirloom tomatoes at the store, but when I sliced into them, I realized that they looked a lot better than they tasted. :*(

  9. Liz C says

    This is such a fantastic recipe! I made it with Italian prune plums as a gluten-free Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) dessert. Huge hit! Foods made with honey are symbolic of a sweet New Year, and Italian plums are in season now, so it was perfect. I love the almond meal in the crisp — so good!

  10. Carly Krumins says

    Hi there. This crisp or “crumble” as we call them in Australia looks amazing. One thing though, if you use oats it won’t be gluten free unfortunately. They are all gluten contaminated and I can’t eat them myself. You can buy gluten free oats though or if you can’t tolerate oats at all like me, you could use a mixture of almond meal, GF flour and dessicated coconut for the crisp topping.

  11. Helen De Gregorio says

    Hello Kate, just tuning in from down under (New Zealand) where plum season is underway – hooray! This recipe looks delicious, I look forward to making it with the plums I picked up at the farmer’s Market this morning. Happy baking.

  12. Joelle says

    This recipe is just what I’m looking for. At our new house we have a tree with a ton of small plums that aren’t that great to eat on their own. I try not use dairy, any experience with how it will turn out if I leave out the yogurt? Thanks for the post!

    • says

      Hi Joelle! I believe you could use melted coconut oil or olive oil in place of the butter and yogurt (use 4 tablespoons oil and add up to 3 more, until the topping mixture is moistened throughout).

  13. Jane says

    I just made this (albeit with some small variations based on what I had in the cupboard) as my first attempt at a crisp and loved it! As a Brit I’ve always tended to head straight for my trsuty crumble topping, but I’ll definitely be adding this to my go-to list as an alternative :-)

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