03 October 2010

Mirabelle Crumble

One of the joys of late summer here is the fruit. I love the peaches, nectarines, raspberries and of course the blackberries. One fruit I didn't appreciate till we moved here are plums. There are so many types: Red ones, purple ones with yellow flesh, the green Reine Claudes, and the tiny yellow Mirabelles. 

I love it that fruit and vegetables here have proper names. I used to just buy plums. What kind? Uh, purple ones. Here, we call them by their names. Reine Claude in French means Queen Claude. Don't ask me why you'd name a Queen Claude, but I guess someone did. In any case, she turned out to be agreeable enough that they named a lovely little green plum after her. I like the name Mirabelle better, I think. Not so royal but veryvery pretty. Like the plums themselves, tiny bundles of sunshine. 

Do you know these? You should! They're really tiny, the size of cherries, and very sweet. They have a lovely flavor that goes well with other fruit. When we can get them we keep a bowl on the counter in the kitchen and we both just grab a couple whenever we pass by.

Recently, though, as the air began to have that slight chill in it that signals autumn, I decided to make a crumble with the mirabelles. I had made crumbles with purple plums, and loved the way they softened and became sweeter as they cooked.

I love crumbles. To me they signal the coming of autumn, my favorite season. Here, autumn means gibier (wild game), wild mushrooms, the last blackberries, cool nights and long walks along the leafy farm lanes.

I added just a pinch of cinnamon to this and some cardamom. I was curious about how the cardamom would go with the mirabelles. It was really good--I'll do that again. Most crumble recipes call for some flour in the topping mixture. I left it out because I'm still avoiding wheat. Maybe I'm just kidding myself, but I'm convinced that it's not really necessary. I didn't miss it.

You can make this with any plum, of course. And you can leave out the cardamom if you don't like it. And I know that I don't have to say that the measures are all approximate.

Mirabelle Crumble

50 g 1/3 cup softened butter
100 g 1/2 cup brown sugar
45 g / ½ cup rolled oats
pinch of cinnamon
1 cardamom pod
450 g / 1 lb mirabelle plums

Preheat oven to 175 C / 350 F

  • Wash the plums and cut them in half, removing the pit. Put them in your baking dish.
  • Crush the cardamom pod and remove the tiny seeds. Pulverize them with a mortar and pestle or the bottom of a glass or even a hammer. You want them to be in really tiny pieces. Toss the tiny pulverized bits of cardamom with the plums.
  • Mix the softened butter and the brown sugar well. Add the cinnamon and the oats. Press on top of the plums.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the plums are juicy and bubbling and the topping is starting to brown. Serve warm.

Serves 4 if they like it and 10 if they don't.

  • Vanilla ice cream would complement this perfectly.
  • This was a very rich crumble, so we had small servings. I'm not counting the little bits we broke off the topping as we passed by it, of course... 


Pam said...

Yummy! I love the addition of the cardamom!

La Table De Nana said...

I have no idea why they are Reines Claude..but many many girls are name Claude here:) We even have men named Carol:)

Glad to see you posting..

Barbara said...

I'm smiling, Kate, because that's what I buy...purple plums.
Reine Claude is a new name to me..don't think I have seen those in our area or I would have asked questions about it.
I'm with you about crisps and crumbles! I think my recipes all have flour in them though. I must try yours!
(Love that bowl!)

Stella said...

Ooh Kate, those Mirabelles look so pretty. Especially in that bottom photo. I would love some Mirabelle crumble right now. Plus, cardamom and plums sounds so extra wonderful...!

Lois Hughes said...

Hi Kate - I love the photo of the Mirabelles in the bottom photo. It sounds delicious. Loved reading about your life - good for you!

Susan said...

This lower photo captures the inner sunshine of those plums ... beautiful, Kate! It's funny; I always think of plums as summer's last gift to us ... your crumble makes it a first taste of Fall...

So glad to see you posting again, Kate!

Linda said...

Oh this looks so delicious!
Gorgeous pics my dear...just gorgeous!

Sophie said...

Your mirabelle crumble looks scrumptious & I also recently made a mirabelle & plum crumbke but didn't posted it!

A lovely picture too!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I had no idea plums had such regal names Kate. Your crumble looks delicious.

Barbara said...

I finally posted your duck tart recipe today, Kate!

Katherine @ NightOwlChef said...

Welcome home from all your travels! (I've been lurking...)
This crumble looks so delicious! I wish I could find mirabelle plums around here. My only memory of mirabelle is an incredible mirabelle schnapps that my dad's old boss (French, Alsatian specifically) distilled himself. He said the mirabelle was key - must be the sweetness!

Anonymous said...

All that lovely fruit makes my mouth water.

The Gypsy Chef said...

Hi Kate,
Those are beautiful snaps of the plums. I bet I can guess what window you took it in. I will agree about the Mirabelles, I bought them in Paris this year and we just nibbled them every morning at breakfast, and lunch and dinner too. Hope all is well.

Heather said...

Beautiful pics and a yummy sounding recipe. I just learned a few new things about plums. Thanks!