Plum and Peach Crisp

Plum and Peach Crisp Recipe


My friend Whitney had a baby girl last week, so Wayne and I decided to drive over to Berkeley to pay a visit to the new arrival and enjoy a nice lunch. I didn't want to show up empty handed, so we decided to put the remainder of the plums from the last post to use in a rustic plum and peach crisp - with plenty of extra crisp, or crumble, or whatever you call the topping part. I suspect I'm like many of you in liking a high crisp to fruit ratio. When it comes down to it, I'm after a spoonful of oat-flecked crumbly crust, some deliciously warm and fragrant fruit, paired with a dollop of cold, creamy vanilla ice cream. I'm not sure it gets much better.

In my mind a good crisp recipe incorporates a few other considerations as well. First off, I don't like overcooked, un-textured fruit, so I keep my cooking time relatively short compared to other crumble or crisp recipes. Just enough to get my topping nice and golden.

Also along these lines, use fruit that is ripe, but not overly ripe. You want the fruit to retain shape and texture. Too ripe it goes to mush. Not ripe enough, you'll fight the stone fruits through the entire slicing and pitting process. They let you know when they are ready.

I also scale back on the sugar a bit. A lot of crisps, cobblers, and crumbles (or pies for that matter) are overly sweet. I try to make my crisps just sweet enough - because when you pair an overly-sweet crisp or cobbler with a big scoop of sweet vanilla ice cream, it's a bit much.

The only time-intensive part of a recipe like this is cutting the fruit. I'm sure some of you will ask about using frozen fruit. While it isn't quite the same, I've used frozen fruit in crisps and cobblers on occasion with success. Someone also suggested cutting and freezing segments of my plum bounty for use later in the year - great idea.

Thanks to everyone who sent me emails encouraging a visit to my neighbor last week. I'll keep you posted on that front. Also! I heard from Barry, the Unwilling Cook last week - I'll post an update from him soon as well.

Enjoy the crisp recipe, and feel free to swap in your favorite stone fruits and berries. You could also do individual versions in ramekins as well.

 
 
 
 

Plum and Peach Crisp Recipe

A couple other notes about this recipe: In addition to being very sweet, most crisp/crumble/ cobbler-type toppings are big-time butter bombs - unnecessarily so. I tried to scale back a bit here without sacrificing taste or texture, and used yogurt to keep things moist. You can sweeten the fruit part to taste with whatever sweetener you prefer. Honey might work nicely with all peaches, etc.

Fruit:
1 pound ripe peaches
1 pound ripe plums
1/4 cup natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoons arrowroot (or cornstarch)
a scant 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water (opt)

Crisp:
3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
big pinch of salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup yogurt

Special equipment: 8x8 square baking dish or equivalent

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.

Cut the peaches and plums into bite-sized, 1-inch pieces. I cut relatively chubby slices and then cut them again in quarters or thirds. Place the chopped fruit in a medium-sized bowl.

In a separate small bowl whisk together the 1/4 cup sugar and the arrowroot. Sprinkle over the fruit, toss gently (but well), add the orange blossom water (optional), toss again, and transfer the fruit to an 8-inch square baking dish (or your favorite equivalent-sized, deep-sided, solid-bottomed tart pan).

To make the topping combine the oats, flour, sugar, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Stir in the butter, and then the yogurt and mix until everything comes together in a dough-like texture. Sprinkle the crumble evenly over the plum and peach mixture.

Place the baking dish in the oven, middle rack, and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the topping is golden. Sprinkle a bit more sugar on top as it comes out of the ovens, and if you have a lemon onhand, grate a bit of zest on top (optional). Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

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Your Comments


shuna fish lydon
July 13, 2007

Crisp! While I've been in Portland teaching I've made quite a number of crisps. And you know what? In all of them I used NO sugars at all! I relied on the sweetness of the topping to carry the ripe berries and stone fruit.

What a wonderful revelation this has been. It means I also use no binder/thickener. I think crisps are supposed to be messy, so I just wait for them to cool completely to room temperature before serving.

I like the idea of the orange flower water. But I must say, although it sound un-American to admit, I think oats get brittle and dry in the topping. I think their addition is a detractor for me. I use nuts or a dash of cornmeal for crunch instead.

 

Katiez
July 13, 2007

Absolutely perfect! My plums and peaches are ripe (tinly little peaches that are miserable to peal but very tasty; and green plums) and I need a sweet for guests today.
Love the idea of substituting yogurt for some of the butter. I cook with yogurt a lot!

 

Sophie
July 13, 2007

I love the props on the photo Heidi!

We freeze some of our plums and use them in crumble type recipes with no problems. For some reason its better if you take the stones out before you freeze them as it stops the plums getting a bitter taste (laborious but at least it's done ready for when you want to use them). Hope that's a useful tip for somebody!

 

Sarah
July 13, 2007

And look how pretty your tart pan is! I think that alone ups the humble crisp to a loftier status. Now my old Pyrex 8x8s don't quite seem up to the task. :)

 

chanelle
July 13, 2007

just lovely! i purchased some nectarines a couple days ago in hopes of finding some little gem to make with 'em. i think i have just found it, many, many thanks to you! i also happen to have some leftover vanilla frozen yogurt from david l's book (and your recent post on it!) that would be just perfect on the top.
i'm thinking i need to go now....have something very important to {bake}do.

 

Maninas
July 13, 2007

Sounds heavenly! I do crumbles, too.

btw, I made your orange carrot salad last week and it was delicious!

 

ML
July 13, 2007

Mmm...looks delicious!

 

Rachael
July 13, 2007

What a great recipe! I love how you have made the crisp topping less buttery and am curious to try that trick. I have also, on occasion, added baking powder to crisp toppings - it actually does help the topping increase in volume without sacrificing taste (the texture is lighter).

Regardless, two questions: plain yogurt or vanilla? Have you found the fat content to make a difference? I usually keep nonfat in my fridge, but I don't know if that would be too sharp for this

 

Celia
July 13, 2007

I can`t see it in the list of ingredients, but it looks to me like there is shredded lemon zest on top of the crisp in the photo.

 

Brittany
July 13, 2007

The Birchwood Cafe in Minneapolis makes a fabulous peach and raspberry cobbler with a homemade biscuit and unsweetened whipped cream. I don't think they put much, if any, sugar. Just another variation!

 

Heidi
July 13, 2007

You are right! I did a little sprinkling of lemon zest on my way out the door! Will add to the instructions as optional. You could also do chopped ginger ot chopped walnuts in the crumble. That was another idea I had.

 

Jim
July 13, 2007

Droooool. Haven't ever tried a crisp with plum in it before--I bet it tastes fantastic, even if I happen to -like- butter bombs. :P

 

flutter
July 13, 2007

gorgeous...just really really lush

 

RookieMom Heather
July 13, 2007

Yay Whitney and yay crumbly topping!

 

brian w
July 13, 2007

First time I've seen yogurt in a crumble topping--although I have a go-to topping recipe that I love on everything, I feel like I definitely need to try this variation!

 

Sue (coffeepot)
July 14, 2007

Beautiful looking and I bet just as yummy.

 

Heidi A-P
July 14, 2007

Another great recipe.
What happened with your neighbours plums? Everyone gave you good advice.

 

Amy
July 14, 2007

Another delicious stone fruit recipe I just have to try! Thanks!

 

Maya
July 14, 2007

Oh goodness, that looks wonderful. :) I'll have to pass this on to my mum; she's the cook in the family (she made your Thousand-Layer Lasagne the other week, and oh, it was just divine!) Thanks so much for another great-looking recipe!

 

The Cooking Ninja
July 15, 2007

What a beautiful pie! I love the crumbly toppings.

 

Tamami
July 15, 2007

HI!
Loving adding oats in the crumble topping. Not only it's a healthier addition, it also makes your dessert look rustic & hearty! Your great photograph of it makes me drool...(wipe)

Never heard of putting yogurt in it though - where did you get the idea from? Have you seen this done elsewhere?

I often make fruit crumble at home, with the berries that are slightly damaged or bruised that I can not use for my cake market stall. I love that you can bung anything in it & it'll taste superb.

 

felicia
July 15, 2007

Heidi,
This is utter perfection! After a botched peach pie, I decided to go back to basics and work with blueberries. I used your crumble on a blueberry filling and it is utterly, utterly divine! THANK YOU!! And, I'm thinking you could use almond flour with blueberries, yes?

Cheers, Felicia

My take:
http://feliciasullivan.com/?p=662

 

Diane
July 15, 2007

Have you considered posting nutritional value for your recipes? I have made a couple of your recipes and figured out (with the help of some software) the nutritional value but I would definitely make more of your recipes if I could see if it fit into my daily intake of certain items at a glance (fiber, calories, fat, carbohydrates, etc)

 

Lynn
July 15, 2007

I agree- a high crisp to fruit ratio is essential. Yours looks just right! I love your helpful tips on how to personalize a recipe.

 

alyson
July 15, 2007

this looks divine. I've never made a crisp/crumble/cobbler before, and I'm thinking this might be where I will start!

 

ha3rvey
July 15, 2007

hmm... I think I have some peaches and blueberries in the freezer...

This could be good.

 

cybele pascal
July 15, 2007

Too funny about the plums!

I live in LA and have a Santa Rosa that went crazy this year after I fertilized it last fall. In addition to giving away pounds and pounds of plums to all my friends and neighbors, and anyone else who would take them, including my stove repairman, and the doctor, I have made every possible plum creation I could find... plum cobbler, rustic Austrian plum tortes, plum crisp, and pot after pot of plum compote. I can truly say that for the first time in my life, I am sick of plums! But like you, I can't stand the idea of them going to waste. I hope your neighbor was generous! I really love your idea of using rose water in your compote. My plums were very watery and quite tart, so I use sugar, sweet Marsala, stick cinnamon, and added some strawberries to help with the texture. Sometimes I also add a little maple syrup. I eat my compote with yogurt, or serve it alongside spongecake with a dollop of creme fraiche -- yum!

Thanks also for your crisp recipe. The addition of yogurt is totally inspired!!

I'm curious to know if you've successfully frozen your plums? I was going to freeze some, Cook's Illustrated had a good piece on freezing stone fruit this past issue, but to cut the plums into quarters without them turning to soup, they'd have to be rather under-ripe, and I wonder how they fair once defrosted?

I am new to your site, but love it. Must get your book.

best,

Cybele

 

Patricia Scarpin
July 16, 2007

It looks delicious, Heidi, and it's great to know you "killed" some of the fat and calories! :)

 

Corie
July 16, 2007

I made the crisp last night with some extra peaches and plums from the farmers market. It was absolutely the best crisp ever. My friends really enjoyed it. Thanks for all the wonderful and inspiring recipes!

 

JMOSS
July 16, 2007

IVE BEEN LOOKING FOR THIS SPECIAL FANTASTICATELY EASY ONE, I CANT WAIT TO TRY THIS PARTICULAR ONE THANKS SOOOOOOO MUCH

 

Stacy Z
July 16, 2007

I thought this looked delicious and decided to give it a try this weekend to take to our small group meeting. It was gone in no time! I plan on making it again soon :)

thanks Heidi!

 

e
July 16, 2007

hi! i'm new to your site and loving it. it's winter here in australia and crumbles are a great winter pudding, made with fruit frozen from summer's gluts. i use coconut in my crumble topping, and when combined with the oats and the brown sugar, it tastes like an australian favourite -- the Anzac biscuit! (cookie for americans)

 

sarah
July 16, 2007

just made this for friends and it was WONDERFUL. personally, i think the ratios of butter, sugar, flour, oats, and fruit were just right. i liked how the topping was more like a chewy cookie than a "crisp."
it was also a great excuse to make cinnamon ice cream in my new ice cream maker! the two complemented each other perfectly.

 

mari
July 17, 2007

My tree is full of as of yet, unripe plums. I do hope that this stormy weather will abate and the can ripen up in some late summer sun, so I can try this recipe!

 

Karen
July 17, 2007

We were at Whitney's house visiting the very same new baby and saw the leftover crisp in the fridge... I must say it looked delicious! I'm going to make it this weekend.

 

GreenMyEyes
July 18, 2007

Made this last night - very tasty! My only substitutions were a bit of Penzey's dried orange peel for the flower water and some granulated tapioca as the thickener (an idea I got from Elise at Simply Recipes, as I had some left over from her strawberry-rhubarb cobbler. I highly recommend that recipe too, btw.) Mine was all plums, thanks Heidi for inspiring me to use them up before they went bad...

 

dawn
July 18, 2007

This looks really great. I love the tart pan idea. I also like how rustic it looks. Will definitely give this a try.

 

melanie
July 19, 2007

i have been reading your site for a while, but had never really had the occasion to make one of your dishes. i tried this last night, to share with some dinner guests, and it was just divine! i used plums and nectarines and it was so tasty. (i'm actually eating the leftovers- of which there were very few- right now!)

 

Travis
July 19, 2007

I think your tart pan looks fantastic, but I would have liked to also have seen the finished crisp/crumble in a Pyrex 8x8. Definitely not as photogenic, but more likely to be in your readers' kitchens.

 

Bryan
July 21, 2007

Heidi,

Awesome recipe, but the directions don't indicate where to add the cinnamon. We found the crisp in the oven and the cinnamon on the counter - opps.

Do you happen to have any good humus recipes? Moby Dick (a local chain in the DC, MD and northern VA [aka nova] areas has the best I've tasted).

Thanks,
bryan