Warm Plum Crisp with Vanilla Custard


Photograph by Iaian Bagwell

From Lauren Raymond, Miller Union

Special Equipment:
8 oven-safe bowls

For plum crisp:
8 cups plums, sliced in 1/4-inch pieces
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
juice of 1 lemon

For crisp topping:
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 cups flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon, freshly ground
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound chilled butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

For vanilla custard:
1 vanilla bean, split
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
10 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

To prepare plum crisp:
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine plums, sugar, flour, salt, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Toss to mix well. Evenly divide sliced plums into 8 oven-safe bowls. Place approximately 3/4  cup of cold crisp topping in each bowl, being sure to completely cover all plum pieces. Place bowls on a baking sheet and cover bowls with another baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate baking sheet and remove the top baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes more, or until crisp topping is lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm. Serve custard sauce on the side, to be poured on as desired.

To prepare topping:
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients by hand, using fingertips to mix butter into the other ingredients until thoroughly crumbled together. Chill topping for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator, then place over fruit mixture.

To prepare custard:
Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into a medium saucepan, then add cream, milk, and vanilla bean and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat. Create an ice bath by placing ice and water in a bowl that is large enough to hold your saucepan. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until well combined, then add cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour custard back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until thickened and custard reaches 175°F on thermometer, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding solids. Set bowl in ice bath and stir occasionally until cool. Stir in vanilla extract and salt, adding more salt if necessary. Serve custard cold.