Wheatless Wednesday – Santa Rosa Plum Crisp


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Looking for a simple 4th of July or summer dessert?  How about an easy Stone Fruit Crisp? Plums are in season right now as are other stone fruits like peaches, cherries and nectarines. Crisps are very forgiving to make as there is little that can go wrong, no crust to make or fruit to arrange. Just cut up your favorite fruit, sprinkle it with a yummy topping and bake. The beauty of this dessert is it’s simplicity.  This recipe is easily made vegan and gluten free and for a dessert, it’s pretty nutritious.  The oats and almond flour combined with the fruit and dates are loaded with vitamins and minerals ( and fiber, of course).   As an added bonus, your kitchen will smell divine!

I have a wonderfully prolific Santa Rosa plum tree in my garden in California.  Usually I make plum jam which I put on toast or in my yogurt for the rest of the year.  This spring in California has been so dry and warm that my plums were ripe and falling off my tree almost before I realized I was losing my crop.  So right before my summer move to Maine, I gathered everything I could reach and decided to take them with me since I didn’t have time to do anything with them in California.  I ‘smuggled’ the plums and some Meyer lemons, also from my garden, to Maine in my suitcase which I checked. I didn’t dare carry it on, since one of my friends once took home some of my lemons in her carry-on and security thought they were hand grenades. (Well they are rather large lemons!)   I decided it was not worth the risk of possibly having to dump them so packed them in with my shoes and extra clothes and hoped for the best.

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The lemons made the trip very well but a few of the plums got a bit bruised on their journey and are no longer quite as perfect for eating, so I decided to make a plum crisp.  Since I have yet to do a complete restocking of my pantry, I had to make do with what I had on hand, even tearing open individual sugar packets to toss with the plums (after which, of course, I found the tin of sugar hiding up on the top shelf).  Like I said, this is a very forgiving dessert…

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TIPS:  Most fruit crisp recipes call for wheat flour but I opted to go grain free and use almond flour, although almost any flour would work as a thickening agent and in the topping as well.  I added pecans and almonds to the topping for added crunch as well as dates for extra chewy sweetness but both are optional.  If you don’t use nuts, just add a bit more flour and oats so there is enough topping to cover the fruit.   I usually prefer desserts that are one dedicated fruit but crisps are also good with a mixture of cut up fruits if that is what you have on hand.  This is  great way to make an amazing dessert out of leftover or less than perfect pieces of fruit.  Instead of throwing them out, just cut out the bad spots.  They will still taste delicious!

Santa Rosa Plum Crisp

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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4 cups plums, pits removed and chopped

1 Tbsn coconut, oat or almond flour (white or wheat work too)

3 Tbsn sugar (honey, agave necter, etc.)-more if your fruit is under ripe or sour

1 tsp vanilla or almond extract

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


1/2 cup flour (made from any grain or legume)

1/2 cup oats (not instant or fast cooking)

1/2 cup pecans or almonds, finely chopped(optional)

1/4 cup dates, pitted and finely chopped (optional)

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, melted

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  • Combine plums, flour, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon together in a medium bowl.  Pour into an ungreased baking dish or pie pan

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  • Mix together all topping ingredients with a fork until crumbly.

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  • Spread topping evenly over the plum mixture
  • Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Plums should be bubbling and the topping a golden brown.
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream (optional)

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