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Author Notes: A pyramid of luscious "Black-Velvet "plumcots beckoned from the produce aisle. They looked so exquisite and were so enticingly named, I had to scoop up a paper bagful. I kept thinking about ginger--crystallized ginger--to enhance their dark beauty, and this crumble was born. It is based on the recipe that my mother recreated in memory of her mother. When she was a very little girl, she often helped her mother bake a crumb cake, which I've posted as Sossie Beile's Little Cherry Crumb Cakes. I decided to make a plummy version with a double-thick garnet layer of homemade preserves. A little brown sugar, pure butter, and an extra egg yolk created a tender crumb which I crisped up with a sprinkle of slivered almonds and sugar. I hope it is a fitting tribute to the grandmother I often wish I could have known. —creamtea
Makes an 8" square panful, serving 4-6
For the preserves
- 2-1/4 pounds mixed "blue-velvet" plumcots (8-10) and flavorful dark pluots (about 4); or all pluots if plumcots are unavailable, or just plums.
- 10-12 tablespoons granulated organic sugar
- 2 teaspoons finely-minced crystalized ginger
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed, strained lime or lemon juice
- Chop fruit coarsely, discarding pits. Combine with remaining ingredients, starting with the smaller amount of sugar, and stir to combine.
- Empty plumcot mixture into a medium, 2-3 quart heavy-bottomed saucepan. Turn heat to medium-low and, stirring frequently, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, about 5 minutes. Taste for sweetness and adjust if necessary, and simmer, stirring frequently until thickened and reduced, about 20-30 minutes. Set aside to cool while you prepare crust.
For the crust
- butter or safflower oil for greasing the pan
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1/2 cup granulated organic sugar
- 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar,
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
- 1 large egg + 1 yolk, beaten
- blanched slivered almonds
- organic sugar for garnish
- Pre-heat oven to 350º and grease an 8-inch square Pyrex pan.
- Whisk dry ingredients together until blended, and crumble in brown sugar. Toss well to incorporate.
- Rub in butter, breaking up with fingers and tossing to coat with flour, until mixture is mealy and largest pieces of butter are pea-sized. Drizzle in egg, tossing with fork to combine.
- Pat about 1/2 of mixture into bottom of prepared Pyrex pan. Press lightly to form a crust.
- Scrape cooled plumcot preserve over crust (you may have about 1/4-1/2 cup left over--cook's treat).
- Scatter remaining crumb mixture on top of preserves, spread a handful or two of almond over crumbs, and sprinkle about a tablespoon of sugar evenly over the topping.
- Place pan in center of oven. Bake 30-45 minutes until golden and bottom crust is browned. Fruit should be bubbling.
- Remove from oven and serve warm or room temperature. A scoop of vanilla ice cream goes well.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Breakfast Baked Good
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Picnic Recipe
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Spicy Recipe
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Buckle, Slump, Grunt, Crumble, Cobbler, Crisp, Sonker, Pandowdy, and/or Betty