Monday, September 14, 2009

Bountiful Baskets

My daughter-in-law called yesterday because she had a question about freezing Plum Crunch (recipe below). She has joined "Bountiful Baskets" in Phoenix, AZ. Bountiful Baskets is a food co-op supporting local farmers and provides fresh produce a low prices. Here's a list of the foods from a recent pick-up: cantaloupe, romaine, broccoli, Brussels' sprouts, cherry tomatoes, peaches, apples, plums, cucumber, bananas, grapes, mange, kiwi, and lime.

Each week you sign up online and then pick-up on Saturday morning. In addition to the basics you can choose organic or not and special packs such as tropical (pineapple, mango, lime and coconut), Italian (garlic, onions, tomatoes and basil) and others.

On Saturday she got lots of plums and she said "a hundred apples". I'm not sure that was literal but she had already frozen two apple pies and was starting on the plums. Her question was whether she should freeze the crunch before or after baking. My advice was to bake it and then freeze. If you try t his, heat it in a 350 degrees F. oven before serving.

Crispy Oatmeal Plum Crunch

Summer and early fall are the best time to find plums in the supermarket or at the farmers’ market. I like that special spark of tartness from the skin, followed with the sweet, juicy taste of the fruit. Plums are becoming more readily available year round due to imports from South America. I like to serve this dessert with crème fraiche.


1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
6 cups sliced plums (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup all- purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cold butter, cut-up

Heat oven to 375°F with oven rack in middle. Spray bottom of 11 x 7-inch baking dish or 2-quart casserole with nonstick cooking spray.
Mix granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, and lemon peel in large bowl. Add plums and lemon juice and stir until fruit is well coated. Spoon fruit into baking dish.

Mix flour, oats, and brown sugar in small bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some pea-sized pieces. Crumble over the fruit.
Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until juices are bubbling all over and topping is golden brown. Cool slightly before serving—the sweet fruit syrup makes it very hot. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store any remaining in refrigerator.

BAKER’S NOTE: Ripe plums yield to a little pressure around the stem end. I often ripen plums at room temperature for a few days after I purchase them.
SECRETS TO SUCCESS: Grate the lemon peel before cutting the lemon and squeezing it for juice.


Sinclairs said...

The plums are delicious - I had to break into one of them (made two sets). And they taste even better with the apple crisp because the apples are so sweet and the plums so tart. Thanks for your advice! (And I also have an apple pie in the freezer, with a dozen apples left to eat!

All About Food said...

Oh, I think I know what I'm going to make with the case of plums I purchased from a local non-profit organization. They are Italian Prune Plums, though. Will they work in this recipe?