19 August 2014

I said it's a plum

Summer desserts seem to be infinite this time of year. Crisps, crumbles, pies, galettes, galet-ettes...make them, make them now, the fruit gods seem to pronounce, even amidst the hot kitchen. While eating perfect seasonal summer fruits raw with your hands is like nothing else, neither is cooking them into jammy goodness them while they're around and ready to be plucked upon. I haven't seen a strawberry at the farmer's market in a few months, and while I just got used to picking up pints of cherries in every visit, those plump juicy-crisp dollops of perfection are now filed under nostalgia. Though I've still been hoarding blueberries to sprinkle on granola, freeze or maybe make one last pastry with, for now, I'm mostly onto stone fruits. 

The point is, they go fast.

That said, speaking of berries, if you've still got a bounty of them, my rye cherry-blueberry galette is a Community Pick from Food52's Your Best Berries Contest. You can see the page here and scroll down past the gorgeous photos to the list of four other community picks at the bottom. But back to stone fruits. Peaches took over last week. I made quick fro-yo one night, and then turned two that went from firm to overripe overnight, into a simple stove jam into which I grated ginger. A few more went into last weeks simple tart. And the other one got halved and gussied in the simplest guise: baked like this (omg. do that now). I'm watching the other peaches ripen slowly while I think about how they me combined with a tiny bottle of rum I have...

Meanwhile, a bucket of round magenta plums piled high under the farmer's tent caught my eye. And before that, a basket of Italian prune plums. That's what I'm here to report on. They're a fruit I'm not so used to baking with. and they really shine when allowed to jam up and concentrate. Over the weekend, I made Marian Bull's Plum Galette. For the crust, I used a bit of spelt flour in place of her whole wheat. Delectable. Check out her recipe and funny write-up. "A galette is a lazy woman's pie." Amen to that!

Plum Galette

And with those prune plums? The credit goes to another Marian. Marian Burros via Molly. Plum Crumble. Plum CRUMBLE. I'm not exaggerating here, there's genius to this recipe. I'm already thinking about making it again. Just so I can eat it for breakfast. First you'll enjoy a scoop after it cools a little, with a dollop of creme fraiche, but know that it also holds up well overnight and is fabulous with another dollop of creme fraiche in the morning. It will warm gently for just a few minutes in a low oven, while you make coffee. But what's notable is the topping. The dough, without butter at first, is clumped over spiced plums and then the butter is poured on the topping which makes it a bit crispier than usual, almost like a giant cinnamon cookie baked over jammed plums. I even snuck a little spelt flour into that, too. Can't find prune plums? Word is you can do the same with peaches. I'll have to try that next... maybe spiked with rum. Anything's possible. Until soon. xx MN

Plum Crumble (the morning after)

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