This is one of the best desserts I make during plum season. It comes together quickly and is ready in under an hour. The juicy plum layer bubbles up during baking creating a fantastic syrup! Serve it on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it's a total crowd-pleaser. I love it with a cinnamon dough but you can use just about any pie crust you want.
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By now you might have noticed I love fruit desserts, and cobblers are one of the easiest ones to put together. Especially if the top is pie crust!
Though I love a good old-fashioned cobbler with biscuit topping, there is a moment when my freezer is filled with bits and scraps of homemade pie crust. It's during those times when desserts such as this plum cobbler make an appearance.
What type of pie crust can you use? Any type! Homemade or store-bought. As long as you like it with plums, it's good to go.
Cinnamon pie crust (or use one you already have. If it's plain and add cinnamon to the filling)
- All-purpose flour.
- Salt: I like to use kosher salt when baking. But regular table salt works just fine.
- Unsalted butter.
- Egg: large, fresh.
- Sugar: white granulated sugar.
- Cinnamon: any ground cinnamon you normally use works fine. I like Frontier Vietnamese cinnamon and Simply Organic Ceylon cinnamon.
- Vanilla: I use pure vanilla extract or pure vanilla paste when available, but a good vanilla essence (artificially flavored) also works.
- Plums: I use regular red plums. They are easy to find and juicy enough for this dessert. But any seasonal plum you're used to baking with can be used.
- Cornstarch: it thickens the syrup that is formed during baking.
- Sugar: I like to use good old white sugar as plums tend to be acid. But brown or even coconut sugar works.
- Citrus: I think orange pairs wonderfully with both plums and cinnamon. You can also use tangerine.
There are different types of cobbler toppings, the most common one being a biscuit topping.
But another great one is pie dough. Why? Because it's so darn easy and fast to put a fruit cobbler together and you get to use those leftover pieces!
For this plum dessert, I love the combination of plums and cinnamon dough, to which I added some walnuts because they make a great flavor trio. But you can omit them, that's why they're not in the recipe title.
Cinnamon pie dough
A bowl and a spatula, or wooden spoon, are all you need to make this pie crust, which is similar to the sweet shortcrust pastry, a post that has a video with the process, in case you want to watch it.
- Mix the wet ingredients until you have a sort of soupy mess. The butter will not integrate completely and that is fine (images 1 and 2).
- Add the dry ingredients (image 3) and finally the walnuts, if using (image 4).
- Integrate everything well until you have a smooth round of dough (image below).
- Wrap the dough and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. It needs to rest before cutting it into shapes.
Vintage Kitchen tip: after you add flour, work the dough as little as possible, just until it all comes together. You don't want the butter to start melting and the gluten to activate as that will render a tougher crust after it's baked.
Take the dough from the fridge at the last minute and roll it about ¼ inch thick. Cut into the desired shapes and keep cold if you're not yet ready to use them. You can put them in a baking tray, cover them with plastic wrap, and pop it in the fridge.
Or have the filling ready, the oven turned on, and then roll, cut, and cover the plums.
- Mix the filling ingredients: this is as easy as dumping the fruit in the baking pan, adding the rest of the ingredients, and mixing it lightly. That's it, one less bowl to wash!
- Cinnamon: if using a plain dough that you already have, add ground cinnamon to the filling. It's all explained in the recipe card.
Assembling the cobbler
- Pie crust cut-outs: I like these large flowers, but ANY form can be used. But take into account that very intricate patterns might not hold their shape well after they are baked. My favorite ones are simple flowers, stars, hearts, and circles.
- The topping: I slightly overlap the shapes but leave space here and there so that the juices can bubble up and thicken while baking.
- Crust - you can make it ahead and have it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, well wrapped. Or make it a month ahead and freeze it. When ready to bake put it in the refrigerator a day or two before you plan to use it so it thaws slowly.
- Filling - you can keep the sliced plums in the freezer for a few weeks before using it. Use them directly without defrosting them first.
Serving the cobbler
My favorite way is at room temperature with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. It also works well with a scoop of ice cream, as most cobblers do.
Individual desserts: make them in ramekins and serve each person their own little cute dessert.
- Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
- Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. Use a thermometer inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that the temperature is right. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
- Fruit layer variations: stone fruit in general works fantastically well in this recipe. On their own or a mix of them, like plums and peaches or nectarines.
- Crust topping: you can use just about any pie dough you want, whether store-bought or homemade. If it's plain, add some cinnamon to the filling. It can also be a chocolate dough recipe that pairs well with plums, or a sugar cookie dough if you like a sweeter plum cobbler.
- Make ahead: the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for a week or frozen for a month or more. You can use frozen fruit if there's no other option but be careful with the amount of liquid they will release. Use the 2 tablespoons of cornstarch stated in the recipe.
More plum recipes:
If you want to read more about using the freezer for sweet things, check out my Freezer Baking & Desserts Guide. It's full of tips and ideas.
Let me know in the comments below if you made this recipe and loved it and if you had issues so we can troubleshoot together. I love to hear what you think, always. Thanks for being here. It's much appreciated.
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For the crust:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped, optional
- 1 cup white sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
For the filling:
- 2 pounds of fresh plums, pitted and sliced into thin wedges
- 3 tablespoons sugar (use white or light brown sugar and add up to 2 tablespoons more if the plums are too acid or you like very sweet desserts)
- 1 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- ¼ cup orange juice (about 1 orange)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon: optional for extra flavor. And if using a plain pie dough, add it to the filling.
For the crust:
You might not use all of it. You can make cookies with the leftovers.
- In a large bowl beat butter with sugar for a minute.
- Add egg and vanilla and mix well.
- Sift the dry ingredients or flour mixture: flour, cinnamon, and salt and add them in two parts to the butter mixture. Then add the nuts.
- Mix everything together but don’t overwork the dough. It may be soft.
- Pat it into a flat round, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour, until it relaxes and hardens.
For the filling:
- Have ready a 9-inch square dish (I use glass or ceramic).
- Add the sliced plums and distribute them evenly.
- Sprinkle with the sugar, cornstarch, juice, zest, and cinnamon if using. Lightly stir everything to combine.
Assembling the cobbler:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180ºC.
- On a lightly floured counter, roll out the cold dough (if it’s too hard when taking it out from the refrigerator, let it soften slightly, just until you can begin to roll it) sprinkling with additional flour if it sticks to the counter.
- Roll it about ¼ inch thick.
- Cut any shape you want and immediately top the cobbler with the dough pieces. Make sure you leave spaces without topping as the fruit juices need to evaporate during baking and bubble up.
- Bake for about 40-45 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the cookie topping is golden and dry.
- Eat warm with a scoop of ice cream or plain at room temperature.
- Refrigerate leftovers, covered in plastic warp or in an airtight container.
Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. Use a thermometer inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that the temperature is right. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
Make-ahead: Crust - you can make it ahead and have it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, well wrapped. Or make it a month ahead and freeze it. When ready to bake put it in the refrigerator a day or two before you plan to use it so it thaws slowly. Filling - you can keep the sliced plums in the freezer for a few weeks before using it. Use them directly without defrosting them first.
make them in single-serving ramekins and serve each person their own little cute dessert.
Variations: use another citrus, like tangerine or lemon, or another type of pie dough like sweet shortcrust pastry, or even chocolate pie crust if you like the combination with plums. Cardamom also works well with plums.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Pie dough from scratch: 90 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: ⅛
- Calories: 349
- Sugar: 35.5 g
- Sodium: 156.7 mg
- Fat: 12.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 56.7 g
- Fiber: 2.6 g
- Protein: 4.2 g
- Cholesterol: 53.8 mg
Keywords: Plum cobbler