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.
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!
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.
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.
In 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!
- 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
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.