A plum assignment

Sunday, July 3, 2016

"I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold"

- William Carlos Williams, "This is Just To Say"

I'm very grateful that nobody ate the plums that were on the counter, which I was saving to bake with. Especially grateful because I've never baked with plums before, and this recipe made a convert out of me. The jammy filling is delicious and sweet, and makes a perfect foil for the crisp base and topping. Now the only question is this: can I justify saving one of these for breakfast?

Plum Oatmeal Bars
(adapted from Canadian Living)

Makes about 20 bars

3 1/2 cups chopped firm ripe red or black plums (about 5)
3/4 cup sugar (first amount)
1 Tbsp grated orange zest
1/3 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 cups quick-cooking (not instant) rolled oats
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar (second amount)
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup cold butter, cubed


In saucepan, bring plums, 3/4 cup sugar, orange zest and orange juice to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until plums are tender and beginning to break down, about 12 minutes.

Whisk cornstarch with 2 Tbsp water; stir into plum mixture. Bring to boil, then cook, stirring, until thickened, about 1 minute. Scrape into bowl; place plastic wrap directly on surface. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. (Can make up to 24 hours in advance.)

While plum mixture is chilling, in large bowl whisk together oats, flour, brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, and salt. Using pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Firmly press half the oat mixture into bottom of parchment-paper lined 9" x 9" cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees until golden, about 20 minutes. Remove and let cool in pan for 5 minutes.

Spread plum mixture over crust. Gently press remaining oat mixture into small clumps and sprinkle over plum mixture. Bake at 350 degrees until topping is golden, 40-45 minutes. Let cool completely on board, then chill before cutting. Cut into 20 bars.


Gloria Baker said...

Love plums :)
Look absolutely delicious :)

Gloria Baker said...

Love plums :)
Look absolutely delicious :)

Pam said...

Plums are great, but I've never baked using them and will have to change that soon. Thanks for the recipe!

Angie's Recipes said...

That's a delicious assignment, Beth. I would love one huge bar for my 2nd breakfast!

Anonymous said...

mmm. . . this looks wonderful. I love plums.

Marcelle said...

Plums are in my favorite fruit and these sound like little bits of heaven to me! Love this recipe!

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

Hi Beth, I just bought plums today at the farmers market, Pinned!

scrambledhenfruit said...

Love that poem- it was a favorite of my third graders this year! So glad no one ate your plums, because those bars look delicious. :)

That Girl said...

I feel like we have a constant assortment of plums lately. Both kids love them and they are so great in the summer

Unknown said...

I love this kind of bars, they are so loaded with fruit and so versatile.

Sprigs of Rosemary said...

I adore that poem. I know I'd adore these bars, too.

Sprigs of Rosemary said...

I adore that poem. I know I'd adore these bars, too.

Unknown said...

Such a beautiful rhyme. I love plums too and I know these bars would make my day! What a delicious share!


Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

I think it's been years since I've baked with plums. This has got to change as your bars look marvelous!!! A perfect summer treat.

Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina said...

I love fruit bars, Beth and my daughter adores plums! This would be a great recipe to make for her for my next visit with her family! Thanks for sharing! Happy summer and season of fresh fruit!

Julie said...

Those look delicious. I've never baked with plums. Hope you're enjoying summer!

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

I've always like that poem! Your bars look great. I'll have to keep my eyes open for plums now!

grace said...

i always eat plums raw and have NEVER baked with them, isn't that tragic!?! i love their flavor and will definitely have to try this. :)

Cakelaw said...

These bars look fabulous Beth. I am a fan of plum cake, another good thing to bake with plums.

Kitchen Riffs said...

I've had dates in oatmeal bars, but never plums. Love the idea! Definitely something I'd like to try (or talk Mrs KR into trying, since she's a much better baker). Thanks!

Velva said...

Plums make for a beautiful oatmeal bar. Yours looks delightful. I have two plum trees. Unfortunately there were not enough cool days this past winter to set fruit :-(


Jemi Fraser said...

I've never baked with plums either - but these look delicious!!

Katerina said...

If I was in the house there would be no plums left haha! I might have refrained though with the promise of making these bars!haha

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Dear Beth, around here we bake quite a bit with plums but with the "Italian plums" that are considered by cooks to be ideal for baking. I love everything plum and I know that I would just adore eating some of these Plum Oatmeal Bars of yours, as they look utterly delicious.

Monica said...

Love the poems you include in your posts! I've never cooked with plums either. Great idea, and these bars sure look yummy!

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