Plum Good Crumble

     There is a problem with this dessert! It’s so darn good that it is hard to stop eating. Heed this warning — if you are trying to watch your calorie consumption, don’t make it!    
     However, I can certainly rationalize a second helping – it’s healthy! Loaded with oats (we all know they are good for us) and almonds (they are nutritionally dense, containing heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, protein, potassium, calcium, phosphorous and iron). And, it is common knowledge that fruit is packed with vitamins and minerals. Perhaps a third helping is not really out of the questions!
    This is actually Inge Teasley’s version of a recipe that Ina Garten made on the Food Network’s “Barefoot Contessa,” When I made it (exactly as Inga did), I served it as a dessert, topped with ice cream. But, Inga took a different approach — offering it as a coffee cake and paring it with Canadian bacon. It was a perfect balance of sweet and salty and a great menu served with strong coffee at a morning gathering.
     The crumble could be assembled ahead, refrigerated and then baked at the last minute (remove prepared pan of crumble from refrigerator and let it come to room temperature as the oven preheats).
A grapefruit spoon works
well to dip out the pit,

Plum Crumble    Yield:  9”x12x2” baking dish
2 pounds+ red plums, cut in 1/2, pitted, and cut in 1” wedges (skins left on) -- I used 9 plums weighing a little over 2 lb.; cut each into 8 pieces
2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
¼  teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (quick cooking oats work too but old-fashioned add a little more crunch)
1/2 cup+ sliced almonds, plus extra for sprinkling

1.  Preheat the oven to 350°.
2.  In a large bowl, combine the sliced plums, 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar, ¼ cup of the flour, and the orange juicetoss well. Pour into a 9”x12x2” baking dish that has been sprayed with pan release.

3.  For the topping, place the remaining 1 cup of flour, the remaining 1/3 cup of granulated sugar, the brown sugar, and the salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade; pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is the size of peas. Pour the mixture into a bowl, add the oats, and work it with your hands until it's in large crumbles. Add ½  cup of the almonds and mix well.
4.  Spread the topping evenly over the plums, making sure the fruit is covered. Sprinkle with some extra almonds.

   Bake for 40 minutes, or until the fruit is tender and bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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