I don’t know about you, but I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin as much as the next girl, but I’d be perfectly happy with 365 days of sunshine, extra hours of light (SO helpful for blogging!), and summer produce.
I’ve been extra spoiled with summer fruits and veggies from Eatwell lately—tomatoes, strawberries, yellow watermelon, and stone fruits galore (among tons of other wonderful goodies)—so I am trying to make the most of it before it’s gone. Case in point: this simple and delicious plum crumble layered with decadent almond pastry cream.
There are three essential layers to this crumble (and any crumble): 1) tart, flavorful fruit, 2) a buttery, brown sugar-y topping that will hold up against the fruit filling (brown butter adds some extra nuttiness to this one, and a combination of rolled and steel cut oats gives it great texture), and 3) something creamy (I’m usually partial to good vanilla ice cream, but the almond pastry cream here paired well with the plums and felt a bit more luxurious).
Plum Crumble with Almond Pastry Cream
For the plum crumble:
- 1/2 c all purpose flour
- 1/2 c rolled oats
- 1/4 c steel-cut oats (this gives it a hardier texture, which I love, but you can just use 3/4 c rolled oats in a pinch)
- 1/4 c + 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 5 Tbsp butter
- 5 plums, thinly sliced (~3 c)
- 1/8 c sugar (increase to 1/4 c if not serving with pastry cream, ice cream, or another sweet topping)
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
For the almond pastry cream:
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 c whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg yolks
- 6 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/8 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Start with the crumble: Preheat the oven to 350°. Mix the flour, oats, brown sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.
- In a small saucepan, brown the butter over medium heat, stirring frequently until it looks golden and smells a bit nutty. Remove from heat, pour into the dry ingredients, and (after it cools a bit) mix with your hands until the crumble topping starts to clump together.
- Make the fruit filling: In a separate bowl, mix together the sliced plums, sugar, vanilla and 1 Tbsp cornstarch.
- Spread the fruit filling in a loaf pan or small baking pan. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the plums and bake for about 40 minutes, until the top is crisp and golden and the juices start bubbling up.
- Make the pastry cream while the crumble is baking: Dissolve the 2 Tbsp in 1/4 c of the milk and beat in the whole egg, then the yolks. In a heavy saucepan, combine the remaining 3/4 c milk and sugar and whisk constantly over medium heat until it comes to a boil.
- Whisk the egg mixture as you slowly pour about a third of the boiling milk into it to temper the eggs. Return the remaining milk in the saucepan to medium heat, pour the egg mixture into the saucepan in a thin stream, whisking constantly so the eggs don’t scramble. Whisk constantly until the mixture begins to thicken and boil.
- Immediately remove the mixture from the heat and pour into a bowl. Add the butter and vanilla and stir until the butter is melted. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface so it doesn’t form a skin and let cool at room temperature until the crumble is ready.
- Assemble and serve: When you’re ready to serve (I like it best fresh out of the oven, but it’s also tasty cool, when the pastry cream has set a bit), place a scoop of plum crumble in a trifle dish, bowl or mason jar, add a generous dollop of pastry cream, and top with more crumble. Dig in!