Plumble: A Plum Crumble

Click here to nominate me or another blog for the Saveur blog awards 2016!  And don't forget to sign up at that bottom of this page for my weekly emails!

This crumble is probably not going to be a huge revelation for you.  This crumble is about finding ways to celebrate where you're at.  Where I'm at is in a sunny apartment in the Neukolln neighborhood of Berlin, eating barbecue and doner kebaps and a million other delicious foods. 

 lets sit on the windowsill and eat some dessert.

lets sit on the windowsill and eat some dessert.

The plums I used are from the Turkish market that is ten minutes from my flat in Berlin.  The market buzzes with people selling fruit, and street food, and cheese and meat and a rainbow of Turkish food - spices and dips and bread are just the beginning.  One year ago I was in Istanbul with my mom discovering how very, very special Turkey is.

This market felt a little like going home and a little like going farther East.  Saturdays in Durham, as I mentioned here, are best spent at at the Durham farmer's market, so while this market is nothing like that one, markets in general feel like a place where I understand what is going on.

 true story:  the knife slipped when I was cutting these plums and I thought i was bleeding PROFUSELY but really there was just plum juice everywhere and i was unhurt.

true story:  the knife slipped when I was cutting these plums and I thought i was bleeding PROFUSELY but really there was just plum juice everywhere and i was unhurt.

The plums I used were blindingly bright - so acidic they seemed to wake up everything around me.  Have you ever had anything so sour it made your ears ring?  My ears rang a little from these plums.  In a good, mouth-watering way.  They demanded to be baked.

My faithful travel partner, Liv, spoke these words. 

"I would replace my blood with these plums.  Like, I would like to mainline this into me.  Also I would paint my house this color, also I would give up money and start using it as currency."

If that's not an endorsement, I don't know what is.  When you're vacation cooking, you've got to take what you can get.

 plum = new favorite color?

plum = new favorite color?

    Let's talk about vacation cooking.  By nature, it is relaxed for two reasons.  One, because you're probably drunk/asleep/distracted/not really that interested in cooking but trying not to blow your trip budget too badly.  Two, because there are probably NO measuring utensils anywhere in the place that you're rented, if you even rented a place with a kitchen. 

    Next time I hit the road, I'm bringing measuring cups and maybe a pepper grinder.  These are the things I lack.  Actually, I notice the lack of pepper grinder more than the lack of measuring cups.  But that's a personal black-pepper-addiction situation.

     nuss = nut.  that's your german lesson for the day.

    nuss = nut.  that's your german lesson for the day.

    Speaking of taking what you're given, Germany gives muesli, which is a bit like granola except less crunchy because it isn't baked into chunks.  Instead of mixing oats into my crumble topping, I mixed muesli I bought at a grocery store around the corner from my apartment, which contained nuts and cornflake-ish objects.  A different type of local ingredient, if you will.

     balcony view.

    balcony view.

    Berlin Plumble

    • 4 plums
    • 4 tbsp sugar
    • 5 tbsp sugar
    • 5 tbsp flour
    • 1 cup muesli
    • 125 grams butter
    • pinch salt

    Preheat oven to 350 (more complicated on a European oven than one might think.  Butter your baking dish.  In my apartment, there are no baking pans, so I used a small saucepan.  A 8-10 inch cast iron skillet would work perfectly.  I'm hereby empowering you to figure this out because I truly believe you can.

    Slice plums into even pieces and coat with sugar.  Stir to dissolve some of the sugar. Set aside.

    Combine flour, sugar and salt, then use fingers to distribute butter throughout mixture, until mixture has chunks of different sizes.  Add muesli or other cereal.  Drain excess juice from plums, then add to butter pan.  Sprinkle muesli mixture over the top.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until fruit is bubbling and topping is golden brown.