I love this moment between seasons that we’re in, where Summer and Fall collide.
We’re savoring the best of both worlds right now. Cozy Autumn mornings fueled by steamy tea are becoming the norm, the leaves are starting to turn, and I’ve got homey soups and braises on my mind.
But late-Summer produce is still mightily available – corn and tomatoes and plums still stacked proudly in market baskets. These blueberry plum crumbles, utilizing frozen blueberries picked earlier in the Summer, and fresh plums from a local farm, are a lovely bridge between the two seasons.
Generously spiced with cardamom, that wonderfully warming Eastern spice, and inspired by my ever more frequent cups of chai tea, these cozy little pots of deliciousness pack a welcome depth of flavor.
On these chilly days, I don’t mind turning on the oven, in fact, I’m relishing getting back into the baking swing of things, particularly for sweet treats like these blueberry plum crumbles.
Fruit crumbles are a delicious exercise in contrasts. A buttery oat topping, crisp and crumbly, encapsulating a slow-cooked fruit filling beneath, saucy and flavorful, and bubbling up around the edges. Every bite a beautiful combination of the two distinct textures and flavors.
These mini crumbles couldn’t be easier. The prep time is mere minutes. Baking time is a good half an hour, but hands off, and well worth the reward. Size the recipe up or down, or bake it all in one larger baking dish, whatever works for your or your number of dessert guests.
Frozen blueberries will work just fine here, but I would recommend using fresh plums if they’re still in season where you are. See my recipe notes for easy vegan and gluten free substitutions.
Oh, and the term ‘a la mode’ was created for a dessert like this – a scoop of vanilla ice cream is almost a requirement. I always keep a pint or two on hand for just such occasions. The ice cream quickly melts into creamy oblivion in the warm, gooey fruit, enhancing an already decadent treat.
Blueberry Plum Filling
- 2 medium plums, pitted and sliced
- 1-1/2 cups blueberries
- 2 Tbsp organic cane sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- optional but recommended: 2 tsp arrowroot starch
Oat Crumble Topping
- 1/2 cup rolled (old-fashioned) oats
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour*
- 1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- pinch fine sea salt
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter,* softened
- Preheat the oven to 375* F. In a medium mixing bowl, toss together the plum slices, blueberries, sugar, spices, and arrowroot starch, if using. Set aside.
- Make the crumble topping: In a small mixing bowl, stir together the oats, flour, brown sugar and salt until combined. Add the butter, and use a pastry blender or your fingers to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Continue until the butter is completely incorporated, and the mixture comes together into a chunky crumb.
- Divide the blueberry-plum mixture between 4 oven-safe ramekins. Top with the crumble topping and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the crumble topping is golden brown and the berry juices begin to bubble.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm with fresh whipped cream, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and/or a dusting of powdered sugar.
For a vegan crumble, substitute vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) or room-temperature unrefined coconut oil.
For a gluten free crumble, swap out the all-purpose flour for oat flour, almond flour, or your favorite gluten free flour blend.