I never thought I’d be one to say I was excited for plum season. Truth be told plums are towards the bottom of my list of favorite fruits. But, after last season, my opinions changed completely. My in-laws have a veritable grove of plum trees and convinced me to take a small box home last year when we went to visit. I was not excited about them. However, I took my mother-in-law’s advice and made a pie out of them. And then my world was changed forever.
Cooked plums have got to be the most underrated thing in the world. So sweet, flavorful, and delicious it’s a wonder more people don’t know about them. This year I was pining for plum season and was ecstatic to bring home a large box of plums from my in-laws to fill up my freezer for year-round treats.
I found a couple amazing recipes last year that I loved, namely Perfect Plum Pie and Plum Pocket Pies. These crumble bars are my latest find and may very well be my favorite of the three recipes. It’s so easy to make and turns out so beautiful. If you decide to make it for yourself, don’t be alarmed at the dry nature of the crust/crumble mixture. It will magically change from a dry floury looking mess to golden buttery crusty deliciousness. Oh and don’t forget the vanilla ice cream!
For Plum Mixture:
- 4 cups thinly sliced plums
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
For Crust & Topping:
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 cups flour
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- pinch of ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, chilled (not frozen)
- 1 egg
1. Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 9 x 13″ pan.
2. Toss plum slices with the 2 Tbsp. sugar and 1 Tbsp. cornstarch and set aside.
3. In a large bowl (or the bowl of your food processor) whisk together the brown and white sugar, baking powder, flour, spices, and salt. Cut butter into approximately 1 Tbsp. size chunks and add to flour mixture. Using a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands, work the butter into the flour mixture until it becomes crumbly (or pulse a few times in the food processor). Then stir in the egg. The mixture will be very dry and crumbly.
4. Firmly press two thirds of the crumble mixture into the bottom of the 9 x 13 pan. Then evenly layer the plum slices on top. Sprinkle the remaining crumble on top and bake for about 40 minutes or until the topping has turned golden and the fruit is bubbling.
5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing and serving.
Adapted from Clockwork Lemon