Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Plum Crisp

Crisp is really wonderful.

I'm on vacation with my family, and we're staying in a condo. First day here, I was ready to bake.

When you're traveling, baking from scratch is more difficult. Cookies have rather a lot of ingredients, considering baking soda, baking powder, two kinds of sugar, eggs, vanilla...the list goes on and on.

Crisp is fast, forgiving, easy to make, flexible to the seasons, and amazing with ice cream. Plums were on sale and good. I threw in a nectarine before I discovered they were pretty unripe.

Enter "forgiving." It was still good, even the less-ripe nectarine. Toss it with sugar, add lemon juice. Top with brown sugary buttery oat crumbly crisp, and everything is forgiven.

But, it's a double edged really good chef's knife. Because when the fruit is good, like the plums, the fruit is the star of the show, and elevates the crisp. It is a transcendental experience with melty vanilla ice cream (gold star if you get the kind with a caramel swirl...Dad).

Almost a member of the clean plate club!
So, here's a "recipe"

Plum (or anything) Crisp


  • Fruit, cut into pieces
  • Granulated sugar
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Oats
  • Salt
  • Flour
  • Brown Sugar
  • 1 stick butter, cold and cut into pieces or frozen and grated on a box grater
  1. Mix fruit with a few big spoonfuls of granulated sugar and the lemon juice and zest. Let rest for a while (half an hour is good).
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a casserole dish (I used a 9x13 pan). Drain off the liquid that has accumulated from the fruit/sugar, and reduce in a large bowl/measuring cup/mug in the microwave until it starts to thicken (let it go for a minute at a time and watch it to make sure it doesn't boil over).
  3. Put the fruit in the casserole dish and drizzle the reduced juice over it. Mix about a cup of flour and about a cup of brown sugar, add in several spoonfuls of oats (the amount you like), then cut in the butter until the mixture starts to hold together a bit when you squeeze it.
  4. Spread crumble topping over fruit, press into cracks and corners, then poke it with your fingertips to create some texture. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until topping is golden.

Slightly adapted from Food52

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