Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Homemade Plum Crumble

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I guess it must be the English and Italian in me that makes it impossible to resist a fruit crumble. I never really understood the difference between a fruit crisp and a fruit crumble, but I do now. The difference is the oats that go into the topping. It makes the topping extra special. There’s the English. Now I’m guessing the Italian part are the plums. My grandmother always had plums in her house.

My Homemade Plum Crumble is perfect when you’re hosting a dinner party.  Stored in the refrigerator, the topping can be made a day in advance. Hot, room temperature, or with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream, it’s the perfect ending to a meal.

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All-Purpose Flour

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: a ceramic pie dish or a 9 x 13 baking dish, rimmed baking sheet pan

2 pounds of large dark red plums, pits removed, cut into 8 slices per plum (6 cups of sliced plums)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of orange zest
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of organic apple juice

1 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup of packed light brown sugar
Pinch of Kosher salt
1 cup of whole oats
2 sticks of cold cubed unsalted butter, reserve half for the top of the crumble.

Butter a baking dish really well. In a large bowl throw in your sliced plums. To the plums add granulated sugar, flour, apple juice,  orange zest, and a pinch of Kosher salt. Mix all this together so all the plums are coated nicely. Transfer the plums to a buttered baking dish. I like my fruit crumbles to be piled high. It gives it an old fashion look.

In another large bowl, add the ingredients for the crumble topping. Flour, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, ground cinnamon, whole oats, a pinch of Kosher salt. Whisk all those ingredients together before adding in the cold cubes of unsalted butter. Reserve back 1/2 a stick of the butter to dot the top. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it looks coarse meal, shown above.

Sprinkle the crumbled topping evenly over the plums. If a little of the crumble topping slips down between the fruit, that’s fine. If some of the plums are showing through that’s also fine. Using the reserved butter cubes to dot the top. Using a baking sheet to place under the pie dish, bake for 50 to 60 minutes, at 350-degrees F., until the plums are tender and bubbling, and the top is golden brown.  Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Serve my Homemade Plum Crumble, hot or room temperature. Don’t forget the ice cream!

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Tuscan Chicken In A Concord Grape Reduction With Sweet Figs


This has to be one of my favorite chicken dishes ever! Chef Michael Chiarello inspired me to make this recipe. Tuscan Chicken In A Concord Grape Reduction With Sweet Figs sounds like it would be a really hard dish to make but, in fact, the opposite is true.

There are a few steps that need to be followed. I would have liked to have been able to use fresh figs like he did but they weren’t in season at the time. Instead, I used dried figs and reconstituted them.

I’m starting with the spice rub for the chicken.

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Skin-On Boneless Chicken Breasts

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Rosemary (2)



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Prep Time: 35 minutes
Total Cooking Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: large 12-inch sautèpan, 3-quart saucepot, spice grinder/coffee grinder, large deep-sided serving platter

Ingredients For The Chicken:
4 boneless chicken breasts, skin-on chicken and boneless
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, ground
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, ground
1 teaspoon of ground white pepper
1 tablespoon Kosher salt

Ingredients For Reconstituting Dried Figs:
4 cups organic apple juice
1 package dried black mission figs
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Ingredients For The Concord Grape Reduction With Sweet Figs:
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 a red onion, finely diced (substitute 1 whole shallot, finely diced)
2 heaping cups of black mission figs, reconstituted, stems removed and quartered, (if available, 2 pints of fresh black mission figs, stems removed, quartered)
2 cups of fresh Concord grape juice, (6 pints of fresh concord grapes), reserving back 4 small clusters of Concord grapes for garnish
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1/2 cup of chicken stock, unsated
Kosher salt to taste

Note: If fresh Concord grapes are not available, substitute 2 cups of organic Welch’s Concord grape juice.

1 package of arugula
1 pound fresh asparagus
Parmigiano-Reggiano, garnish

For the chicken, have your butcher remove the bones but leave the skin intact.

Start by making the spice rub for the chicken. Take fennel and coriander seeds and place them into a spice grinder (a small coffee grinder that’s only used for grinding spices). Transfer the ground fennel and coriander to a small bowl.  Next, add the ground white pepper to the bowl, stir to combine. That’s the spice rub.

Season both sides of each of the chicken breasts with a tablespoon of Kosher salt first. Next, sprinkle the spice rub on both sides as well as under the skin.

Once the chicken breasts are seasoned, start with the reconstituting of the figs in the poaching liquid.

In a saucepot start with organic apple juice. Add the dried figs along and granulated sugar. Give a quick stir, turn the heat to medium-high. Bring the figs up to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, simmer for 30 minutes. This allows the figs to reconstitute and plump up.

Using a slotted spoon, remove all the figs from the poaching liquid, transfer to a bowl, and let them cool for 5 minutes. Once cooled, remove all the stems and cut the figs into quarters.

Note: It’s a good idea to do this next step in advance if possible.
Place the Concord grapes into a large plastic zip-lock bag, with your hands, crush all the grapes to release their juices. Once all the grapes are crushed,  place a large bowl underneath a fine-mesh sieve. Pour the grapes and their juice into the sieve allowing the juices fall into the bowl, (I used my hands to crush any grapes I may have missed in the bag to release as much juice as possible). This process takes about 15 minutes and yields 2 cups of grape juice.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.

Start by dicing the onions (or shallots) for the sauce.

In a large preheated sauté pan over medium-high heat, carefully add the olive oil. Place the chicken, in the pan, skin side down. Cook the chicken for 4 minutes per side. Transfer to the oven to cook for another 20 to 25 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165-degrees F.

When the chicken comes out of the oven, transfer to a plate, and cover with foil. Use the same sautèpan to make the grape reduction. Be Careful because the handle of the pan is very hot.

On medium-high heat, add in the 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary and the finely diced onions (or diced shallots) to the chicken drippings still in the pan. Sautè until soft and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the grape juice and unsalted chicken broth. Once the liquid comes up to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. Add quartered reconstituted figs. Finally, a light sprinkling of Kosher salt.

Swirl the figs around in the grape reduction allowing them to absorb the intense grape flavor of the sauce for another minute and then turn the heat off.

To Serve: Use a deep-sided serving platter and pour the grape reduction with figs in the bottom of the platter. Lay the pan-seared chicken on top. Spoon a little of the sauce and figs over the chicken.

I like to serve this Tuscan Chicken In A Concord Grape Reduction With Sweet Figs with a simple arugula salad, dressed with Lemon Vinaigrette and shavings of Parmesan cheese.  Alongside, Sautéed Lemon Pepper Asparagus and a garnish of concord grapes.

Homemade Vinaigrette Recipes- Lemon, Balsamic, And Cilantro Lime

Lemon Pepper Asparagus

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