Italian Prune Plum Crisp

Italian prune plum crisp

Thank goodness for the lovely Ina Garten, because if it weren’t for her, I might have never known about Italian prune plums. They are a special kind of plum with a terribly short growing season, lasting only a few weeks at the end of August and the beginning of September. Thanks to her, I’ve now tasted them. And they are indeed very special and wonderful.

Italian prune plums

Italian Prune Plums

First off, they’re smaller and more oval shaped than regular plums. Secondly, they are less sweet – much less sweet, in fact. The only recipes from Ina I’ve found using them are desserts, but upon tasting them, I started scheming what I could do with them in savory dishes. I think they might hold up to being grilled quite nicely, in fact. We shall see… sometime…

Italian prune plum crisp, before baking

And since I am now opening up my mind to crisps/crumbles, despite the fact that I remain firmly ensconced on Team Cobbler, I really, really enjoyed this. This would be a perfect dessert for someone who doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, as the Italian plums aren’t the least bit cloying. It’s certainly one of the least sweet desserts I’ve ever had. And if you can’t find these Italian plums or miss the season, you could sub in regular plums. Though in that case, I would back off on the amount of sugar called for by a little bit. Enjoy!

Italian Prune Plum Crisp

A few recipe notes: these plums are so easy to pit. Most of them came out just using my fingers; use a small cereal spoon for the stubborn ones. Secondly, the crisp topping as written made a little too much. You could back off the recipe by a third if you wanted and that would probably be fine. Lastly, cassis is black currant liqueur. If you don’t have it and don’t want to buy a large bottle for only six tablespoons, I definitely understand. I had some so I did use it, but if I hadn’t found a bottle of it in my liquor cabinet, I probably would have gone with a combination of fresh squeezed lemon juice and water, or maybe another fruity liqueur, depending on what I had lying around. Let me know what you think in the case of substitutions!

Italian Prune Plum Crisp

{One year ago: White Chicken Chili}

Source: slightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten

3 lbs. Italian prune plums, pitted and quartered
1 ½ cups brown sugar, lightly packed
¼ cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of kosher salt
6 tbs crème de cassis liqueur
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
½ tsp kosher salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and diced

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease a 9×13” glass baking dish.
In a large bowl, combine the plums, brown sugar, flour, salt, and cassis. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
For the topping, combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, oats, and walnuts in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and stir lightly to coat. Then use your pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour mixture. The mixture should be crumbly and the butter should be the size of peas. Scatter evenly over the plums.
Place the baking dish on top of a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the plums are bubbling and the top is browned. Let cool for about 10 minutes at least. Serve warm or at room temperature.

4 responses to “Italian Prune Plum Crisp

  1. Julie,
    I’d eat that. I can source local plums (that’s such a fancy way of saying I know where there’s a plum tree in a public area of town) but I’ve missed the season. I’ll check out my favorite market for this plums.

    • Thanks! I really loved these little plums. Trader Joe’s might have them, though that isn’t where I found mine. And I love that you have access to a plum tree!

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  3. I look forward to these wonderful little gems.
    I never tire of a prune plum crisp and any topping is fine with me except one I saw that had an egg.
    Simple is better. These freeze fine if you might crave this crisp off season.
    Making it now! YUMMY

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