Friday, July 24, 2009

Ripe Plums

90.  A plum tree grew outside our back door by the patio of my childhood home.  This tree was shade for our picnic table, provided a great opportunity for climbing and in the month of July gave us small oval shaped Italian plums.  My wonderful mother would bake all sorts of delicious plum cakes & plum crumbles, but my most favorite use of those ripe plums were plum dumplings.  Yes, dumplings!  She would make a soft dough, wrap the whole plum in the dough and drop them in boiling water till they would float to the top.  Then we would place them in a bowl, drizzle melted butter over them and then sprinkle cinnamon and sugar liberally over the dumplings.  When you would take your spoon to break into the dumpling, it would squirt red plum juice.  They were hot, sweet, buttery and so delicious!  I would love a bowl right now!

Plums are a versatile fruit... delicious when eaten right from the tree but so very delicious in a pie, crumble, plum syrup to drizzle over ice cream or cheesecake, jam or jelly.  But how often do you hear of plum recipes?  Not often, so I have a plum recipe for you to try.  
It is a "Plum Crisp".

Plum Crisp

4 cups sliced plum, skin on
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 egg, optional
pinch of nutmeg
1 stick butter, cut in half

Preheat oven to 350º.  Prepare a baking dish, (pie plate, 9 x 13 baking dish or deep dish casserole dish) by spraying with oil or wipe dish with butter.
Cut plums and place in bottom of baking dish.  Lightly sprinkle plums with ¼ cup of the sugar and a sprinkling of cinnamon.  

In a mixing bowl place ¾ cup sugar, cinnamon, flour, oats, egg and nutmeg.  Melt half stick of butter and place in bowl.  Mix all together till a crumbly consistency.  Pour crumbs over the plums and spread to the edges of the dish.  Cut the remaining half stick of butter in pieces and dot over the crumbs.
Bake for 30 minutes or till the plum juice is bubbling and crumbs begin to brown lightly.
I serve the Crisp hot with vanilla ice cream.
I found another recipe, Italian Plum Crisp that is very similar.

Not only did the Plum Crisp turn out delicious but I made plum jam with the extra plums.

A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. 
A good deed is never lost; 
he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, 
and he who plants kindness gathers love. 
~ Saint Basil

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