Plumming the Depths of Procrastination

By Eleanor Gaskarth

I have a dissertation to write. Twenty thousand horrible words, due this time next month. So… time to bury the nose in the books and get diligently writing, right? Nope.

Whilst staring morosely out of the window pondering the inefficacy of my brain, I noticed our plum tree was laden. Birds and wasps were greedily gorging and – I reasoned – in a day or two it would be too late. And fruit is good for the brain (particularly if covered in buttery, sweet crumble and marooned in a sea of custard).

Lovely ripe plums

So if I fail the course, bring shame upon my family and render the last two years obsolete, at least I’ll know the satisfaction of baking and serving something plucked from my own tree. I’ll plum for that (sorry – couldn’t resist).


This is my mother’s marvelously simple recipe:

- Pick and wash fruit, removing any stones (in addition to plums, we added some raspberries and a cooking apple that offered itself from another branch)
- Slice the plums in half and lay all of the fruit at the bottom of a big dish.
- Sprinkle with sugar and add a splash of lemon juice and half a glass of water.
- In a large bowl, make the crumble with a pat of butter, flour, sugar and a pinch of salt. Crumb it with your fingers until it is the right consistency.
- Scatter the crumble over the fruit and bake at around 180C for half an hour (or until the crumble is brown and the sticky fruit juice is ruining the bottom of your oven)
- Argue over what to serve it with – Cream? Ice cream? Custard?

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One Comment on “Plumming the Depths of Procrastination”

  1. Pauline Davey Says:

    I LOVE plum crumble. I like it just warm with cold creme fraiche. I also add ground almonds to crumble mix which is also very good (nigel slater recipe). Making my mouth water just thinking about it ;-)


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