“A PERFECT SUMMER DAY IS WHEN THE SUN IS SHINING, THE BREEZE IS BLOWING, THE BIRDS ARE SINGING, AND THE LAWNMOWER IS BROKEN.” James Dent.
Ok now. Please don’t start throwing tomatoes at the screen but. . . . .I’m ready for fall! Maybe if I could catch a breeze in this heat or my lawn mower WERE broken, I would feel otherwise. And I am just craving something sweet and chocolately, but I feel guilty if I don’t continue to work with summer fruits! Fortunately, I found a new summer obsession. PLUOTS! As if crumbles, crisps, and cobblers were not confusing enough, right? Now we’ve got plums, pluots and plumcots! Well don’t despair. If you like plums but sometimes find them hard and lacking in sweetness; then you will LOVE . . . . .
Come on now. . . . . you know you will serve this up with some rich Sweet Cream Ice Cream!
Actually, I discovered pluots by accident. When shopping for plums one day, the bins were a bit mixed and I picked a few pluots along with my plums. When I began slicing my plums for a recipe, I noticed that the insides were two different colors. And the ruby red flesh of one of the plums was so incredibly sweet! I went online and discovered that plums were snuggling up with apricots to make the most delicious hybrid! In the markets you will find both pluots and plumcots. But even these are not the same. The pluot is three fifths plum and two fifths apricot. While the plumcot is a fifty-fifty mix. The plumcot is definitely sweeter than a plum. But the pluot is just amazing! It is incredibly sweet, with a fleshy texture similar to a ripe peach!
Look at these pictures. On the left is the pluot with an almost greenish looking outer flesh; but a ruby interior. On the right is the plumcot with a more red exterior and a yellow, more firm flesh. Both are delicious. But I’m now addicted to pluots!
I decided to bake these into a crumble. And as with most things that are crazy sweet on their own, I decided to add an element of salt. And so I added bacon to the crumble topping! Crazy, I know! But crazy good!
Yields: 6-8 servings
Level of Difficulty: easy
- 6 cups of sliced pluots (about 9 pluots)
- 1 Tablespoon of almond meal
- 2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
Toss all of these ingredients together in a bowl. Pour into an ungreased 1 1/2 quart baking dish or spoon into individual ungreased ramekins.
- 1/2 cup of almond meal
- 1/2 cup regular oats (though I think the quick oats would be fine)
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 stick (4 Tablespoons cold butter cut into small pieces)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 5 slices of crisp cooked applewood smoked bacon, finely chopped
In a small bowl, combine the almond meal, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a fork or pastry cutter until it becomes coarse crumbs. Add the chopped bacon and combine. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit in your baking dish or ramekins.
Bake in a 375° oven for about 40-45 minutes. Cool slightly. And you know…..you gotta serve this with ice cream!
- I cut my fruit slices into 1 inch chunks for my ramekins. But pluots have a very soft flesh. And if you think your pluots are particularly ripe, you may want to keep them in slices. The fruit is naturally going to break down as it bakes and my chunks turned a bit mushy. If you are using a baking dish, I would suggest keeping the fruit in slices regardless of the ripeness of the fruit.
- You could also use flour in place of the almond meal. But I like the opportunity to add a bit of flavor whenever I can. And almonds and plums seemed like a pretty good fit to me!
- If you would rather not use bacon, I would suggest adding 1/4 teaspoon of salt to your crumble mix. And maybe some nuts on the top would bring a nice crunch, too!