Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Gluten Free Plum Slump

Ah, rustic desserts. You are an awesome book. I haven't even had you for a week and I have baked two recipes from your pages. And both were really awesome. In fact, this slump which I made gluten free is already a favorite dessert of all time.

gluten-free plum slump

August 15, 2009
Name of dessert: Gluten Free Plummy Slump
Occasion: A windfall of plums!
Constituents: Plums, stewed, with a gluten free dumpling top

Stewed plums doen't sound very appetizing, but you have no idea.

Slumps are apparently a New England thing, which would explain why a West Coaster like myself has never heard of them. The colonists were trying to replicate their beloved puddings and came up with cooked fruit topped with dumplings, simmered gently on the stove. I am glad they did, because this was delicious.

My roommate came home on Friday with a bag full of plums that he picked from a tree on a vacant lot. The peach and blackberry pandowdy was finished, so it was definitely time to make another rustic fruit dessert. We chose the Stone Fruit Slump and called Annmarie to come over and eat slump and watch Lars and the Real Girl.

gluten-free plum slump
macerating plums

Obviously we had to convert the dumplings recipe to a gluten free one since Annmarie was coming over. That was pretty easy, I am glad to say! The dumplings were a nice, toothy compliment to all the soft and juicy fruit. Not that they were hard or dense--they had proper dumpling texture--I'm just saying that the texture was a nice foil for the soft fruit. It was oddly satisfying, which is why I think I like it better than the pandowdy we made a couple of days ago.

We ate it as soon as I pulled it off the burner with a little bit of cold creamy vanilla ice cream which was wonderful. Each of us had a couple of servings apiece, and I had some for breakfast as well.

Hey, it's mostly fruit so it can't be all that unhealthful, right?

I will post the recipe since I adapted it to make it gluten free, however you're going to need a couple of GF baking mixes. I keep large batches of both of these mixes in my pantry.
Brown Rice GF baking mix: 2 parts fine ground brown rice flour, 2/3 part potato starch, 1/3 part tapioca flour (For a large batch, use 6 cups brown rice flour, 2 cups potato starch flour, and 1 cup tapioca flour.)
White Rice GF baking mix: Pretty much the same formula as the brown rice mix above, but with finely ground white rice flour instead of brown rice flour. Same proportions. I get my white rice flour at any asian market; asian rice flour is ground much finer than many American rice flours.

Why do you need both? Well, to my mind, the brown rice flour mix is a good substitution for all purpose flour, where the white rice flour is comparable to cake flour. This is just to my mind, not based on the protein profiles or any other chemical compositions of any of these mixes. The original dumpling recipe calls for 1 cup of all purpose flour and 1/2 cup of cake flour, presumably to keep the dumplings tender. So I decided to do the same thing, but with brown and white rice flour mixes. Gluten free bakers, it is up to you. I bet you could use all brown rice flour mix. Or whatever flour mix works best for you. This is how I chose to convert it.

Gluten Free Plum Slump
adapted from Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson

Fruit Filling
  • 4 1/2 pounds plums or mixed stone fruit (apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines) fresh or frozen, pitted (8-9 cups or 3 pounds prepped)
  • 1/4 to 1 cup (5 1/4 to 7 ounces) sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
To make the fruit filling, slice the fruit over a bowl so you can collect the juices. Slice each fruit into 10 to 12 pieces, depending on the size of the fruit, and drop the slices into the bowl. Separately, rub the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a small bowl, then add to the fruit and gently toss to coat. Gently stir in the lemon juice, then scrape the fruit and juices into a 10 to 12 inch nonreactive, deep skillet or a wide 5-quart saucepan or Dutch oven. (Actually, I don't see why you can't just cut and collect the fruit in the pan you're going to cook them in--less to wash in the end.) Whatever pan you choose, it must have a tight fitting lid. Let stand for 15 minutes. During this time, the fruit will release some of its juices and the sugar will begin to dissolve.

Meanwhile, make the dumplings.

Gluten-Free Dumplings
  • 1 cup brown rice GF flour mix
  • 1/2 cup white rice GF flour mix
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) cold unsalted European-style butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add the butter and toss until evenly coated. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the size of peas. (Try your fingers, it's fun!) Add the buttermilk and stir just until the mixture comes together; it will be a slightly sticky and wet dough. Set aside.

Cooking the Slump
Being the fruit mixture to a low simmer over medium-low heat. You will need to stir occasionally to prevent the juice from sticking to the bottom of the pan; but do so gently to avoid breaking down the pieces of fruit. Simmer for about 2 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.

gluten-free plum slump
add the dumplings

In 8 portions, place the dough atop the fruit, distributing the dumplings evenly over the surface. Return to the stovetop and bring to a gentle simmer over low heat. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and continue simmering for 18 to 22 minutes, or until the dumplings are puffy and cooked through to the center. Remove the cover and let cool for 15 minutes before serving. (We ignored this and ate it right away. The only difference was that the juices were really soupy instead of thick. Still tasted good.)

gluten-free plum slump
after 22 minutes!

They say that the slump does not keep well so you need to eat it all up. I say, keep it in the pan you cooked it in and refrigerate. It was still good today, after a reheat in the microwave. I also recommend a little vanilla ice cream, or a small drizzle of heavy cream. It goes well to offset the tartness.
gluten-free plum slump
if we had waited 15 minutes the juices would be thicker. we weren't patient enough.


  1. I have a plum tree in my back garden!
    I could eat this. It looks very delish. I will have to try your GF mix. I have all those ingredients in the cupboard already.

  2. Yes, please do try! I think you will enjoy it. Let me know how it all turns out. (Lucky you, having a plum tree in your backyard!)

  3. I just saw an article in my Gourmet mag about this book. There was a recipe for a stoned fruit tea cake.
    I think I will order this book. We can do some lazy baker bakes from it.

  4. I showed my GF coworker this recipe, and she made it over the weekend and brought me some today. It's delicious! Thanks for posting it!

  5. GF coworker...that didn't make any sense. Gluten intolerant coworker?

  6. Amanda, yay!! Thanks for sharing your GF/gluten-intolerant co-worker's success!