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Dessert

The Easier-Than-Pie Plum Crumble

A deceptively simple sweet and tart dessert with a crisp, buttery streusel

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Sweet-tart plums are the star of this crumble, topped with a buttery vanilla streusel and baked until crisp and bubbling. The plums’ natural tartness pairs great with a splash of lemon and a drizzle of raw honey. To cut the sweetness a bit, dollop with plain Greek yogurt.

This warm and comforting dessert is deceptively simple. Your friends, family or party guests will have no idea it’s such an easy recipe (we won’t tell if you don’t!)

You may be wondering: How does a crumble differ from a cobbler or crisp? To start, a cobbler is a deep-dish fruit dessert topped with a biscuit-like dough. A crisp is a fruit-filling with a light streusel topping made of flour, sugar and oats, giving it a crunch. A crumble is very similar to a crisp, but without oats in the streusel. A crumble is much simpler and focuses on a buttery outer layer that’s more clumpy than crisp. 

While the crumble’s topping is delicious, the plums are the real stars of this recipe. Oftentimes, other crumble recipes mask the plum’s natural sweetness and tartness, but our dish contains raw honey and lemon to highlight the fruit’s flavors. Plums are both sour and sweet, often compared to apricots in flavor and texture.

Depending on the season, you’ll find a great variety of plums at the market, from black to red to green plums and even pluots (a hybrid of plums and apricots). Every variety will work perfectly in this recipe, yielding various colors and slightly different flavors. You can even go multi-colored and use a mixture of plum varieties to create a colorful dessert. 

The perfect ripe baking plum will feel heavy in your palm but have some give to it. To soften hardened plums, put them in a brown paper bag and sit on the kitchen counter for a couple of days. 

Nutritional Bonus: You wouldn’t know from their sweet flavor, but plums are a good source of dietary fiber. While leafy greens are a known source of vitamin K, you may be surprised to find that purple powerhouse plums also contain the heart-protecting nutrient, which may help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Ingredients

  • 4 large plums, pitted and sliced
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. raw honey
  • ½ cup spelt flour, divided
  • ½ cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 Tbsp. organic evaporated cane syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Plain Greek yogurt, optional

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place plums in an 8 x 8-inch baking dish. Drizzle with lemon juice, vanilla, honey, and 1 Tbsp. flour; toss to coat.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine remaining flour, oats, cane juice, buttery spread and cinnamon; blend with a pastry blender or 2 butter knives until crumbly. Spread mixture evenly over plums. Bake on middle rack in oven until golden on top, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Divide evenly among 6 serving dishes. Dollop each yogurt, if desired.