Plum and Nectarine Crisps


Growing up we had a plum tree in our backyard.  I have great memories of that tree, mostly of my Dad and me standing outside picking bags and bags of ripe, squishy plums.  The plum tree produced what seemed like an endless amount of fruit for years and then one summer, nothing.  It was so disappointing and I don’t really remember the reason for its failure other than it was just over.

If I recall correctly, the plum tree was the Elephant Heart variety, heart-shaped in appearance with tight, dark purple skin and speckled with red highlights.  They were beautiful and always a welcome treat.  The backyard plum tree solidified my love of this particular fruit.  I can easily visualize my sticky fingers and white t-shirt covered in red plum juice as part of the experience.

Those memories inspired me to put together these individual Plum and Nectarine Crisps.  Plums and nectarines, for that matter, are not just summer fruit.  There are many late varieties still being harvested and available to enjoy through this time of year.

These little desserts will grace your Fall tables magnificently.  The proportion of topping to fruit is high, making for lots of fruity-crispy bites.  I also used almond paste in the crust (available in the baking aisle of your market) which is similar to marzipan.  However, do not substitute marzipan in this recipe; it would be much too sweet.  Leaving the skins on the fruit also makes for a lovely sweet-tart experience.

Here’s what you will need: Plums, nectarines, fresh lemon juice, unsalted butter, arrowroot, baking powder, almond paste, sliced almonds and almond extract.  Ingredients not shown:  All-purpose flour, granulated sugar, egg and table salt.


In a small bowl combine 1 cup sugar, 2 Tablespoons arrowroot, and 1/8 teaspoon table salt.  Set aside.

Slice plums and nectarines by cutting off sides around the pits, leaving the skins on.  Cut into chunks and add the sugar mixture to the fruit.  Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the fruit-sugar mixture and carefully toss together with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated.  Set aside.

To make the topping blend 1 cup all-purpose flour, ½ cup sugar, ½ teaspoon baking powder and a dash of table salt in a medium sized mixing bowl.

Using two knives or a pastry cutter cut 4 Tablespoons of unsalted butter and 3-1/2 Tablespoons of almond paste into the flour mixture until it is it coarsely ground.  Add one egg and ¼ teaspoon almond extract and blend until just incorporated.  Mixture will be clumpy and dry.

Generously butter ramekins with unsalted butter and place on a cookie sheet.  Divide fruit mixture and topping evenly among each ramekin.  Fill the fruit as full as possible in each ramekin as it will cook down.  Sprinkle sliced almonds over the topping.

Bake in the lower third of a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until topping is golden and juices are bubbling.  Cool 15 minutes before serving.

These are amazing.

Plum and Nectarine Crisps

Makes six, 6-ounce ramekins

2 pounds plums, pitted, cubed
2 pounds nectarines, pitted, cubed
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
2 Tablespoons arrowroot (in the spice aisle)
1/8 teaspoon table salt, plus a dash more for topping
Juice of one lemon
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, plus more for buttering ramekins
3-1/2 Tablespoons almond paste (in the baking aisle)
1 egg
¼ teaspoon almond extract
½ cup sliced almonds

In a small bowl combine 1 cup sugar, arrowroot, and 1/8 teaspoon table salt.  Set aside.

Slice plums and nectarines by cutting off sides around the pits, leaving the skins on.  Cut into chunks and add the sugar mixture to the fruit.  Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the fruit-sugar mixture and carefully toss together with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated.  Set aside.

To make the topping blend flour, remaining ½ cup sugar, baking powder and a dash of table salt in a medium sized mixing bowl.

Using two knives or a pastry cutter cut 4 Tablespoons of unsalted butter and almond paste into the flour mixture until it is it coarsely ground.  Add egg and almond extract and blend until just incorporated.  Mixture will be clumpy and dry.

Generously butter ramekins with unsalted butter and place on a cookie sheet.  Divide fruit mixture and topping evenly among each ramekin.  Fill the fruit as full as possible in each ramekin as it will cook down.  Sprinkle sliced almonds over the topping.

Bake in the lower third of a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until topping is golden and juices are bubbling.  Cool 15 minutes before serving.

Other Crisp Recipes You Might Like:
Apple Phyllo Crisp
Blueberry Crisp
Apple Cheese Crisp

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5 Comments

  1. Barbie with a T 1

    Are those tarts really that pretty or is it trick photography? hehehe I would love to have one of those right now!

  2. Noble Pig 2

    They really are that beautiful!

  3. Thanks for the memories! I grew up with 2 plum trees in the back yard (and blueberry bushes lining the back of the property) and remember the trees seemed to over-produce plums! I never did know the variety, but they made summers great

  4. nina 4

    Absolutely stunning. I cannot keep up with you at the moment,you are posting at a phenomenal rate!!