It’s one of the great ironies of life that the best fruit for baking is always ripe when it’s too hot to bake. I know, I know, tart cherries and peaches and plums are special summer treats, and I should revel in the chance to stand by my hot oven and bake. Of course, you can always freeze your fruit to bake later, as I often do with my tart cherries, or the Peach harvest. My best solution is the simple crisp. It bakes in about 35 minutes, and requires very little effort. This Plum and Crystallized Ginger Crisp is a sweet and juicy way to celebrate my locally grown plums.
I’m lucky to have the St Paul Farmer’s Market just over the river, where I’ve gotten to know some of the longtime vendors. One of these is Mark from Maple Leaf Orchard. He grows all sorts of hard-to-find local fruit, and his stall is one of the first I visit when I arrive at the market, because he often sells out early. Over the years, he’s educated me on how our latest weather was affecting the fruit. He’s lost crops to hailstorms, late frosts when the flowers were at a crucial stage, and other natural forces. These plums were full-to-bursting with juice, because we had gotten a welcome rain after a period of drought. Staying in touch with what’s going on in the orchard is just one of the benefits of buying local. Fruit isn’t a widget, it’s a fragile and precious gift.
Ingredients for Plum and Crystallized Ginger Crisp
- Whole Wheat Pastry flour stays tender, and in a crisp like this, nobody will notice that it’s whole grain.
- Rolled Oats give the crips a hearty chewiness, and plenty of whole grain goodness. Go with Old-Fashioned or even Extra Thick for maximum texture.
- Light brown sugar has the sweetness you crave, and the topping is doing double duty, sweetening the fruit underneath. Use organic to make sure it’s vegan, if that concerns you.
- Cinnamon gives it a little boost of spice, and salt keeps the flavor from being flat.
- Crystallized ginger is one of my favorite ingredients. We all love the flavor of ginger, and it has many healthy properties. Crystallized ginger has been cooked in syrup and dried, and it behaves like dried fruit in recipes.
- Plant-Based butter does the job of adding richness, you can use your favorite solid stick brand. If you want to steer clear of those, you can opt for refined coconut oil, or use grass-fed dairy butter.
How to Make Plum and Crystallized Ginger Crisp
This is a simple as can be, just crank the oven to 400 f and assemble your ingredients. You’ll need a baking dish, I used a cute one that I keep around for when I’m serving guests, you can order one like it here.
Melt your “butter,” combine the dry ingredients, and stir in the butter. Set aside while you cut the fruit from the pits, and plop it right into the baking dish. Scatter the topping on the fruit, and bake ’til golden and bubbly.
Enjoy your plums, and seize the summer!
Plum and Crystallized Ginger Crisp
- 1 1/2 pound fresh plums
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup crystallized ginger
- 1/2 cup melted plant-based butter
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Get a casserole or 2 quart baking dish.
- Pit the plums, leave them in halves and big pieces. Place in the baking pan as you go.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, oats, salt and cinnamon, and stir to mix. Stir in the melted "butter" and ginger. Sprinkle over the fruit in the pan.Bake for 30-40 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving with "ice cream."