Plum Crumble

Plum Crumble

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
The best plums for roasting are small prune plums, also known as Italian plums, available in late summer. They have firm flesh and hold their shape in the oven. Any good plum can be roasted, however, and a combination of varieties gives the most interesting flavor. Serve this crumble for dessert or for breakfast on a lazy summer Sunday morning.


  • 3 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 lb. plums, pitted and thickly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp. five-spice powder


Preheat an oven to 400°F. Coat the bottom of a 9-inch pie dish with 1 1/2 tsp. of the butter.

Combine the plums, orange juice, vanilla and 2 Tbs. of the brown sugar in the prepared dish and toss to coat the plums evenly. Then spread the plums out evenly.

Cut the remaining 3 Tbs. butter into small pieces. In a bowl, combine the butter, oats, flour, orange zest, five-spice powder and the remaining 3 Tbs. brown sugar. Using your fingers, rub the ingredients together until crumbly.

Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the plums. Roast the crumble until the topping is browned and crisp and the fruit is bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven. Serve the crumble warm or at room temperature. Serves 4 to 6.


Plum Crumble with Crystallized Ginger
Add 2 Tbs. chopped crystallized ginger to the plums with the brown sugar. Proceed as directed.

Plum Crumble with Cinnamon and Nutmeg
Omit the five-spice powder. Add 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg to the topping. Proceed as directed.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Roasting, by Rick Rodgers, Melanie Barnard & Bob & Colleen Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2004).
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