It was a bad year in most of Europe for soft fruits like plums this year – there were hailstorms in Italy and Spain, which damaged many of the crops, and a late frost further north. Usually at this time of year you can gather wild plums (actually Mirabelle plums) in the woods where my omi lives, but the frost ruined the fruit. As a result, stone fruits were rare and expensive this year.
Luckily I got some local plums to make this plum crisp! They have a fairly short in-season window but prune plums (Zwetschgen, sometimes called damson plums in english) are in season into October and can also be used here. See German plum cake.
With a simple and flexible gluten free streusel topping (see substitutions for more on that) and a 3-ingredient filling, this dessert is about as easy as it gets. Crisps are the ultimate late-summer / early autumn transition dessert.
Why You Should Try This Recipe
Plums are a special treat and often ignored in favour of peaches and nectarines during stone fruit season. Let them shine in an easy plum crisp – you won’t regret it.
- Just eleven ingredients: with oats and oat flour as two separate ingredients, but you can make your own oat flour from rolled oats. Either way, not overwhelming.
- It’s a dessert breakfast: any recipes like this can be both breakfast and dessert in my books, and that’s always a good thing.
- It’s a one-bowl recipe: the plum filling is mixed in the baking dish, so you don’t need to use multiple bowls, only the one for the crumble topping.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Oat flour: this recipe is adapted from my strawberry rhubarb crisp, which is made with chickpea flour. You can easily substitute the oat flour in this recipe for another GF flour (chickpea, buckwheat) or use spelt or all-purpose instead.
- Spices: the spices can be changed based on your preference. At this time of year I’m all about cinnamon and nutmeg together, but cardamom, cloves, and spice mixes are all great.
- Non-dairy milk: I use oat milk but any kind of milk is fine. Use water in a pinch.
- Maple syrup: as usual, honey and maple syrup can be used interchangeably if the crisp doesn’t need to be fully vegan. You can also use coconut sugar in the filling instead, though I do find that this adds a slightly overwhelming caramel flavour to the dessert as a whole.
- Arrowroot powder: if you want to use cornstarch instead of arrowroot, use one tablespoon instead of two.
Step by Step
1. Mix the dry ingredients: combine the oats and other dry topping ingredients in a mixing bowl.
2. Add the oil and milk: use your hands to mix until crumbly to make the streusel topping.
3. Prep the plums: quarter the plums and place them in the baking dish with the honey and arrowroot.
4. Top and bake: sprinkle with the oat topping and bake for about 40 minutes.
Tips and Notes
You might need to shave a few minutes off of the baking time here, or add some, depending on whether your oven is running at the correct temperature or not. Look for the fruit bubbling around the edges – that’s a good sign any crisp is fully baked.
Adding a splash of milk to the streusel along with the oil helps to mimic the make-up of butter, which includes water. Pure oil tends to cause the streusel to melt too quickly, but including milk makes for a much better texture overall.
How to Store
Storage: as with any crisp, the topping will soften over time as it sits. This is best served the day it’s made, but can be stored for 2-3 days in a sealed container at room temperature.
Freezing: cool fully before covering well and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then heat through before serving. It can also be frozen before baking, then thawed and baked as usual.
- Water or milk in the streusel: mixing oil and a dairy-free milk makes a mixture that’s more similar to butter, which contains water. Oil alone melts too quickly.
- Use your hands: you have no better tools in the kitchen. Mixing the topping with your hands will be the fastest and most effective way.
- Don’t forget the starch: arrowroot or cornstarch thickens the fruit base. Look for bubbling around the edges to know the crisp is done, as the starch needs to boil to thicken effectively.
More Crisps, Crumbles, and Cobblers
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Plum Crisp with Oatmeal Streusel
Oat Streusel Topping
- 100 grams rolled oats
- 30 grams oat flour
- 40 grams coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil solid
- 1 tablespoon non-dairy milk
- 800 grams plums
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- To make the streusel topping, add the oats, oat flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to a large bowl and mix until combined.100 grams rolled oats, 30 grams oat flour, 40 grams coconut sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Add the coconut oil and milk to the bowl and use a wooden spoon or your hands to mix until a crumbly mixture forms. Set the streusel aside.3 tablespoons coconut oil, 1 tablespoon non-dairy milk
- De-stone and quarter the plums, then place them into the dish you want to bake the crisp in. Add the maple syrup and arrowroot flour, then mix to coat the fruit.800 grams plums, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour
- Sprinkle the streusel over the fruit mixture in as even a layer as possible.
- Bake the crisp for 40-45 minutes, or until the topping is golden and the fruit filling is starting to bubble up around the edges.
- Cool the crisp for 20-30 minutes before serving. Leftovers keep for a couple of days at room temperature and can be reheated in the oven before serving.