Marian Burros' Plum Crumble (Vegan Version)
Burros crumble is made with a layer of tangy plum jam covered with a lumpy crust that looks like a giant cookie, warm with cinnamon. The plums are simply cut in half, pitted, and mixed with spices and a little flour and sugar. The topping looks like a streusel—flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, "beaten egg"—scattered over the fruit. For the vegan version, I replaced the beaten egg with Egg Replacer.
Its wonderful cookie-cake texture comes from the final step: before the pan goes into the oven, you'll pour melted butter on top. The butter binds the dough lumps together to form a craggy crust with fluff and crunch, lightness, and density.
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar Muscovado
- 1 ½ tablespoon plus ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon plus ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoon candied ginger finely chopped
- 10-12 Italian plums, halved and pitted
- ¾ cup coconut palm sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Egg substitute plus 2 tablespoons water (optional)
- ½ cup non-dairy butter, melted
Place plums in a medium bowl. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F, with a rack in the center.
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, 1 ½ tablespoon flour, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ground ginger, and candied ginger. Add to the plums and mix well. Arrange plums skin side up in an ungreased 23 cm (9 inches) deep pie plate.
In a small bowl, combine coconut palm sugar, baking powder, remaining flour, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well. Optionally stir in the egg substitute with 2 tablespoons of water. Mix without destroying the tiny lumps formed. Sprinkle over the plums.
Drizzle butter evenly over breadcrumb mixture and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. The crumble is cooked when the top is golden, and the plums give way easily when pricked. Take out of the oven and let cool down.
Serve the crumble hot or refrigerate for up to two days or freeze, tightly covered. If reheating, bring to room temperature, then reheat to 350 degrees F. If desired, serve with vegan ice cream or coconut whipped cream.
Choose the Appropriately Sized Baking Dish: If you use a pan that's too deep, you're probably going to cook something that looks like a jar of fruit jam with a thin layer of crust on top. Once the topping is removed, you'll end up with a lot of syrupy fruit at the bottom of the baking dish. For pretty presentations, the right-sized baking dish will ensure a good serving of crispy topping with the fruit filling.
Don't skimp on butter (non-dairy, eh): Butter, which encourages both browning and crunchiness, is the magical ingredient for the perfect filling. If you don't add enough butter, your topping will be a dry, mealy mass. If you put too much of it, it will become a mass without a fatty form. If you feel your topping is still too dry and crumbly (even for a crumble), add a little more melted butter, a tablespoon at a time.
Add a je ne sais quoi for the texture and taste: Almond flour is added to create a contrast in flavor. It's optional. If you don't have one, replace it with the rest of the wheat flour.