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.

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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.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Comments

  • 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!

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

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

    Heidi A-P
  • 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!

    brian w
  • gorgeous...just really really lush

    flutter
  • 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

    Jim
  • 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.

    Heidi
  • 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!

    Brittany
  • 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.

    Celia
  • 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

    Rachael
  • Mmm...looks delicious!

    ML
  • Sounds heavenly! I do crumbles, too. btw, I made your orange carrot salad last week and it was delicious!

    Maninas
  • 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.

    chanelle
  • 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. :)

    Sarah
  • 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!

    Sophie
  • 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!

    Katiez
  • 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.

    shuna fish lydon
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