Crazy Plum: Sweet and savory stone fruit dishes
Written by Sarah Leah Chase
(August 31, 2023) For some reason, when I think about what to cook in September, I gravitate toward purple ingredients, specifically plums and eggplant.
Ever since I can remember, my family has been anxiously awaiting the September arrival of Italian plums at the local market in order to make my mother’s Plum Crunch recipe, the Chase family’s all-time favorite dessert.
The Italian plum is native to the Mediterranean coastal regions of Italy but can be grown successfully in similar climates in North America. In Europe, these plums are more popular with Germans than with Italians, and the Germans have a cherished ritual of pickling plums to mark the end of summer.
The plum has the small oval shape of its namesake plum, and when fresh, has a deep purple skin that is often covered in a cloudy layer. Interestingly, plums have a more tempting flavor when baked rather than eaten raw as a stone fruit.
While it can sometimes be difficult to find Italian plums in stores or fruit stands, my mother was recently able to get a stash of plums at her local supermarket in Blue Hill, Maine.
Fortunately, I was visiting Maine and I’m happy to report that even though my mother is now 92 years old, the tradition of makingPlum Crunch is alive, well, and delicious as ever.
I’ve shared my mother’s recipe for Plum Crunch in this newspaper once before in a column I wrote back in September 2019 highlighting the history of Marion Burros’ recipe for Plum Torte, her most requested recipe New York times was ever published.
the times, Since all orders have taken place During the pre-Google era, the plum tart recipe was republished every September for six years spanning 1983 to 1989. These days, one can easily find the original recipe as well as variations via a Google search.
However, one cannot find my mother’s Plum Crunch recipe online. So, I take a cue from New York times And run the recipe again here this week The Enquirer and the Mirror.
The recipe can also be found in “New England”. The Open House Cookbook” (Workman, 2015) p. 324.
Earlier this summer, I wrote a column about incorporating fruit into savory recipes, and if you want to go that route with larger red, purple, or black plums, consider making Claire Savitz’s recipe for Grilled Pork Chops with Plums, Halloumi, and Lemon.
Halloumi, a Cypriot cheese that keeps its shape when grilled, has become increasingly popular and can add an aesthetic touch. Fun ingredient for recipes. Savitz points out that well-oiled grill grates will prevent the halloumi from sticking to the grill, and he also recommends keeping them. Watch the plums closely to make sure they become slightly jammed and not mushy.
Now, let’s hope the weather is Team up with abundant sunshine this upcoming Labor Day weekend, so those of us who love plums can go crazy.
When serving Plum Crunch for dessert, I often top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I also love it as a delicious breakfast in September and then top it with a tablespoon of Greek yogurt with honey.
3 pounds Italian plums, seeded and quartered
A quarter cup (packed) of light brown sugar
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
salt 1/2 tsp
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large beaten egg
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Combine quartered plums with brown sugar in a 1-1/2- to 2-quart baking dish and stir to coat plums in sugar.
- Sift the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon together into a mixing bowl. Add the beaten egg and mix together with your fingertips or a fork until just moist enough to form clumps. Scatter the blocks evenly over the plums in the baking dish. Sprinkle the melted butter evenly over the top.
- Bake the plum crisp until the fruit is tender and the topping is golden, about 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Serves 6 to 8.
Grilled pork chops with plum, halloumi and lemon
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more
1 teaspoon of honey
4 bone-in pork chops (about 1 inch thick), patted dry
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 medium ripe red, purple, or black peaches (about 1 pound), pitted and halved
1 lemon, cut in half and seeds removed
8 ounces halloumi cheese, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 tablespoons shredded fresh oregano leaves
Aleppo pepper or any other kind of crushed red pepper flakes
- Set up the grill to cook over medium-high heat. Grill oil. Mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil and honey in a resealable plastic bag. Generously season the pork chops with salt and pepper and add to the bag. Close the lid, squeeze out all the air, and massage the pieces until they are covered.
- Place the plums, halloumi, and lemon halves on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and toss to coat. Season the plums and lemons with salt, then season everything with pepper.
- Grill the pork chops over medium-high heat, turning occasionally with tongs, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center reads 130°F, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the chops to a cutting board and let them rest for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, roast the plums, lemon halves (sliced side down), and halloumi, turning the plums and cheese once or twice, until grill marks appear and the plums begin to release their juices, about 4 minutes. Transfer the plums, halloumi, and lemon halves to a cutting board along with the ham. Cut each plum half into 3 slices, then cut the halloumi into 1-inch pieces.
- Cut the pork away from the bone and cut the meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange the pork chops on dinner plates, discarding the bones. Spoon the plum slices and halloumi pieces around and on top of the meat. 6. Squeeze the juice of the roasted lemon halves over everything and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Sprinkle some oregano and a sprinkle of Aleppo pepper flakes over each serving. Drizzle everything with a little olive oil. serve at one time.