Raspberry Plum Crisp with Walnuts and Cardamom. From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious | www.blossomtostem.net

Raspberry Plum Crisp with Walnuts and Cardamom

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Plums are farmers markets’ harbingers of fall. They come in with the peaches and the berries and go out with the apples and the pears. When plums show up, summer heads out. This raspberry plum crisp is a sort of summer’s last hurrah.

It’s comfort baking at it’s simplest and best, like a light sweater on one of the first cool autumn nights.

This is my favorite time of year in Chicago. When we still have a good amount of daylight, but we get relief from the heat and humidity of August. When the beaches are closed, but it’s still warm enough to dip your toes in the lake and wade around. When that new-folder, fresh-crayons, school-supply smell still permeates seasonal displays. It’s a time I’ve always felt imbued with a sense of possibility.

Raspberry Plum Crisp with Walnuts and Cardamom. From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious | www.blossomtostem.net

It’s a time I like to celebrate. Not in a big, splashy way, but in that easy, putter-around-the-kitchen for a little while and then have something utterly delicious kind of way.

This raspberry plum crisp is very much that sort of thing. It’s adapted from Claudia Fleming’s excellent and sadly out-of-print cookbook The Last Course(You can still find used copies floating around on Amazon, but sometimes the price gets steep.) There’s something special about Fleming’s desserts that I can’t quite put my finger on. Despite having a shelf full of baking books, I still find this book inspirational. Though the desserts are based on her time at Gramercy Tavern, they aren’t filled with the fussy plating with two-dozen components that you see at so many fancy restaurants today. I admire desserts like that, but I’m not going to recreate them for a cozy evening at home. Fleming’s desserts feel comforting and rustic with sophisticated flavors.

This crisp is as easy as any other crisp, but instead of using oats for textural variation it uses ground walnuts. The rich flavor and subtle bitterness of the walnuts pair beautifully with the sweetness of the fruit. The topping also gets a healthy sprinkle of cardamom and a pinch of cinnamon which makes the kitchen smell heavenly while it’s baking. Cardamom makes a wonderful match with plums. (It’s a combination I’ve loved since I first made cardamom plum jam.)

Raspberry Plum Crisp with Walnuts and Cardamom. From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious | www.blossomtostem.net

Raspberry Plum Crisp with Walnuts and Cardamom. From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious | www.blossomtostem.net

Fleming makes this just with plums, which I’m sure is lovely, but I love the addition of raspberries here. I don’t bake with them often, but they turn wonderfully jammy with a little bit of sugar in the oven. It’s a perfect way to use raspberries that are so ripe they’ve gone soft and almost collapse between your fingers. I wouldn’t make this with all raspberries, which I think might be too much like eating a bowl of jam, the big pieces of plum retain enough texture to balance out the delicate berries.

This raspberry plum crumble is exactly the sort of dessert you want to eat warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or cold from the refrigerator with a bit of yogurt for breakfast. Dan was eagerly “evening out the edges” after the first night we had it. It’s just the thing for this transitional season.

Raspberry Plum Crisp with Walnuts and Cardamom. From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious | www.blossomtostem.net

Raspberry Plum Crisp with Walnuts and Cardamom. From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious | www.blossomtostem.net

Raspberry Plum Crisp with Walnuts and Cardamom. From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious | www.blossomtostem.net
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Raspberry Plum Crisp with Walnuts and Cardamom

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Source: adapted from Claudia Fleming's The Last Course
This crisp is a cinch to put together. Look for oblong Italian plums (sometimes called prune plums) or tiny Damson plums for this--they're my favorite varieties for baking. If you don't want to use raspberries you can use an equal amount of plums. When you melt the butter, you can take the extra step of browning it for more flavor (I usually do)--it brings out the nutty flavor and is really delightful--but it's not necessary.

Ingredients

  • 140 grams all-purpose flour 1 1/4 cups
  • 55 grams ground walnuts 1/2 cup
  • 100 grams granulated sugar divided in half (1/2 cup)
  • 55 grams brown sugar light or dark (1/2 cup packed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 115 grams unsalted butter unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature (1 stick, 1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups plums pitted and quartered
  • 2 cups raspberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Add the flour, walnuts, half of the granulated sugar, the brown sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Break up into large crumbs with your fingers.
  2. Add the vanilla to the butter and stir. Pour the butter over the flour mixture and stir until the mixture is thoroughly moistened.
  3. Add the plums, raspberries, and remaining sugar to another large mixing bowl and stir until the sugar and fruit are well distributed.
  4. Add the fruit to a 2-quart baking dish (or 8-inch square baking pan). Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the top. (It'll be a nice thick layer.)
  5. Bake until the top is on the deeper side of golden brown and the fruit is bubbling, about 50-55 minutes.
  6. Let cool. This is excellent warm or at room temperature, especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It's also good cold from the refrigerator.


10 Comments

  • Another wonderful recipe, more beautiful photos. Well done!

    Reply
    • Thanks so much!

      Reply
  • Great flavours in this dish! and I love your photos! what is the background you are using it is so nice

    Reply
    • Thank you! The background is a painted wooden board from Erickson Woodworks–they do gorgeous work!

      Reply
  • I had a recent plum cake disaster recently…hope I saw your recipe first! I guess I can give plums another chance 🙂 And I love the use of cardamom here. (PS: What kind of plums did you use?)

    Reply
    • I used Italian prune plums–they’re great for baking. I sometimes see them sold as Stanley plums. In general I look for the oblong plums for baking. Most of the round ones are better for eating fresh!

      Reply
  • Rasperberry, plums, walnuts, and cardamom!!! Those sound wonderful together…what a great combination!

    Reply
    • Thank you, Anjali!

      Reply
  • This sounds fabulous and I’m glad you are keeping this recipe alive! I grew up with a plum tree in my grandparent’s backyard! Fun memories of picking the fruit and eating it fresh! You brought back memories! I’ll be trying this one!

    Reply
    • How delightful to pick plums off the tree! What a sweet memory to have!

      Reply

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