Ripe plums are very juicy, without much structure, so they're best combined with another stone fruit or berries -- in this instance, plump, sweet blackberries. If you can only find tart blackberries, use an equal amount of blueberries. Nectarines or peaches are also lovely.

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Ingredients

Crust
Filling

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Crust:

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8-by-8-by-2-inch cake pan. Line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides; butter parchment. Spread almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet; toast until golden brown and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes, then coarsely chop. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, and salt.

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  • Beat butter with sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down bowl. Add flour mixture; beat until dough forms clumps but does not completely hold together. Press 3 cups of dough mixture into bottom and 1 inch up sides of prepared pan. Stir almonds into remaining dough mixture.

  • Filling:

    Stir together plums, blackberries, sugar, flour, lemon juice, pepper, and salt. Pour into crust. Crumble remaining crust mixture over top, squeezing to create clumps. Bake until bubbling in center and crust is golden, 1 hour to 1 hour, 10 minutes (if browning too quickly, tent with foil after about 50 minutes). Let cool 1 hour. Remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely, about 2 hours. Cut into squares.

Cook's Notes

One dough does two jobs. Press it firmly into the pan to make a sturdy crust, then add some chopped almonds and clump and crumble the rest on top.

Variations

Berry:

For filling, stir together 12 ounces mixed berries other than strawberries (3 cups); 2/3 cup sugar; 3 tablespoons flour; 1 teaspoon lemon juice; 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. In step 3, bake 1 hour.

Apricot: For filling, stir together 1 1/4 pounds apricots (6 large or 12 small), cut into a 1/2-inch dice (3 1/2 cups); 3/4 cup sugar; 2 tablespoons flour; 1 teaspoon lemon juice;1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of freshly ground cardamom.

Cherry: For filling, stir together 1 1/4 pounds sour cherries, pitted and halved (3 cups); 2/3 cup sugar; 2 tablespoons flour; 1 teaspoon lemon juice; 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Peach: For filling, stir together 1 1/4 pounds peaches, cut into a 1/2-inch dice (3 1/2 cups); 1/2 cup sugar; 2 tablespoons flour; 2 teaspoons lemon juice; 1/2 teaspoon salt; and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

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