It is summer in New Zealand, and so we are all currently inundated with lots of juicy, refreshingly sweet summer fruits. Among my favourite summer fruits are plums and nectarines and I absolutely love cooking and baking with them. One of my friends has just recently purchased his first home, and his new place came complete with a plum tree. So at work one Friday afternoon we got an all office email that there was a box of mini yellow plums that we could raid. As I am greedy, I took a couple of kilograms of fruit and then started scheming about all the ways in which I could use this fruit.
Plums hold a lot of water, so you do have to drain off the excess liquid during cooking. Do not, under any circumstances add water to the pot that has the plums in it as it will water down the flavours. The plums will ooze water very quickly under heat, and so after a minute or so there will be enough of their own juices for them to cook in. If you are using large, red plums this process will take a bit longer, and they will leak less liquid. It also depends how fresh the fruit is of course. More aged fruit, will result in more liquid in the pan. I know draining seems like it will take away from the flavour in the final crumble, but this dish was still quite tangy, and I almost wanted more apples to balance the dish. My partner absolutely loved it the way it was, which surprised me, as since I bake a lot of crumbles, he has become quite the crumble critic.
The cooking process accentuates the tangy, sweet flavour of the plums and so this dessert is great served with whipped cream or a vanilla ice cream. Just whip up a 300 ml bottle of cream or add a spoonful or two of ice cream and you, and your dessert guests will be away laughing. You can definitely add nuts to the crumble topping. I did not in this case as my flatmate is allergic to nuts.
Crumble topping –
- 1 c flour
- 3/4 c brown sugar
- 3/4 c rolled oats
- 3/4 c coconut
- 1 T cinnamon
- 1 t nutmeg
- 1 t vanilla essence
- 150 g butter, cubed
Fruit mix –
- 4-5 medium sized apples
- 1 kg plums
- 1/2 c caster sugar
- 1 t cinnamon
- 1 t nutmeg
- 1/2 c cold water
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C on fan bake.
2 Peel, core and cut each apple into eighths then de-pip all of the plums and break in half for mini plums, or quarters for medium to large plums.
3 In a medium pot add the apples, water and fruit mix cinnamon and boil until the apples start to become mushy. Drain off any excess water.
4 At the same time in a medium pot add the plums and fruit mix nutmeg and boil until the plums start to become mushy. This will only take a few minutes for mini plums. Drain off any excess water (this may need to be done more than once).
5 In a large bowl add all of the dry ingredients for the crumble topping, except for the slivered almonds.
6 Soften the butter in the microwave then mix through dry ingredients until it forms a crumb.
7 Place two fruit mixes in a oven proof baking dish and mix together.
8 Sprinkle the crumble topping over the fruit mix and then sprinkle the slivered almonds over top of the crumble mix. Bake in an over for 30-40 minutes or until golden on top and bubbling.
*Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
Have you tried this out? Be sure to tag me in any and all Instagram posts if you give this a go! (@lana_holla and #splatteredapron) I would love to see how yours turns out!