Here at the tail end of the season, most fruits other than apples are past their prime. However, I’ve still been finding good plums and I have been all about them lately. I wanted to make some sort of dessert with them but I didn’t have much in the way of time or energy. Eventually I settled on a variation of my caramel apple crumble bars.

This was indeed a very, very good call. In my opinion, plums, like blueberries, become even more spectacular after cooking or baking. Their color deepens, they have more depth of flavor, and their sweetness is concentrated. Ginger is a natural pair with plums and gives them that warm spiced vibe ginger does so well. They are fabulous warm out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but if it’s possible, they might be even better the next day once the flavors have had extra time to marry.

There is a strong possibility that we may be revisiting plums later this week…perhaps for cocktail Friday.  So if you are going to buy plums to make this sweet little number, I’d advise you to go ahead and buy a few extra just in case.

  • Yield 16 bars


For the filling: 

  • 5-6 plums (about 1 lb.), sliced
  • 1½ tbsp. sugar
  • 2½ tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

For the dough: 

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • 12 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper.  To make the filling, combine the plums, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Mix gently until well combined.

  • 02

    To make the dough, combine the flour, oats, sugars, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger in a medium mixing bowl and stir to blend.  Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add in the egg yolk and vanilla and stir with a fork or knead very briefly just until a crumbly dough comes together.

  • 03

    Transfer about two thirds of the dough mixture to the prepared baking pan and press down into an even layer.  Bake until light golden, about 10 minutes.

  • 04

    Once the base layer is baked, spread the plum mixture over the top in an even layer. Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the plum layer. Bake about 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.