A slump is a simple steamed pudding, somewhat akin to a fruit cobbler, that uses whatever fruit you have on hand. A slump is usually cooked on the top of the stove; first, you heat the fruit, then you top it with dumplings, and then you simmer the slump to perfection. This is a swell dessert to make on a hot day, as you don’t need to turn on your oven.

The amount of sugar needed for the filling will vary depending on the sweetness of the fruit.–Cory Schreiber

Stone Fruit Slump FAQs

What’s the difference between a slump, pie, tart, crisp, crumble, and cobbler?

Regardless of what you choose to bake, they all involve the magical combination of crust or dough and a fruit filling. Pies and tarts generally have a bottom (and sometimes top) crust made from flour and fat, while crisps and crumbles have a topping made from some combination of flour, oats, spices, and fat, but usually don’t have a bottom crust. Cobblers use a fruit filling that’s topped with biscuit dough.

Although not as common, other similar desserts include slumps, grunts, blueberry buckles, and sonkers. Slumps, grunts, and sonkers are similar to cobblers in that they are made with a biscuit-like topping over a fruit filling, while buckles are more cake-like.

How should I store a slump?

Unfortunately, the combination of steamed dough and juicy fruit filling doesn’t keep well. This dessert is best served as soon as it’s made.

Stone fruit slump in a pottery bowl with a red napkin.

Stone Fruit Slump

4.80 / 5 votes
You can make this stone fruit slump dessert with whatever is in season–plums, nectarines, or peaches, in particular. Covered it with gorgeous steamed dumplings, it's fabulous.
David Leite
Servings8 servings
Calories410 kcal
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes


For the filling

  • 4 1/2 pounds (8 to 9 cups) mixed plums, nectarines, or peaches, fresh or frozen, pitted, and, if desired, peeled
  • 3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar, depending on how sweet the fruit (and how big your sweet tooth)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, (about 1/2 lemon)

For the dumplings

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsifted cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk, (either low-fat or full-fat)


Make the filling

  • Slice the fruit into 10 to 12 pieces each, working over a large bowl to collect both the juices and the slices.
  • In a separate bowl, rub the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together. Add this 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. (Whatever pan you choose, it must have a tight-fitting lid so the slump will cook all the way through.) Let the fruit mixture stand for 15 minutes. During this time, the fruit will release some of its juices and the sugar will begin to dissolve.
  • Bring the fruit mixture to a low simmer over medium-low heat, stirring 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 the heat.

Make the dumplings

  • Whisk the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom together in a bowl.
  • Add the butter and toss until evenly coated. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, cut in the butter until pieces of dough form that are the size of peas. Add the buttermilk and stir just until the mixture comes together; it will be a slightly wet dough.
  • Plop the dough atop the fruit in 8 blobs, using a spoon to make the blobs and distributing the dumpling dough evenly over the surface. Return the pan to the stove top and bring to a gentle simmer over low heat. Cover the pan with its 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. Sadly, slumps do not keep well. You’re just going to have to tuck into this immediately.
Rustic Fruit Desserts

Adapted From

Rustic Fruit Desserts

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Serving: 1 servingCalories: 410 kcalCarbohydrates: 70 gProtein: 6 gFat: 14 gSaturated Fat: 8 gMonounsaturated Fat: 3 gTrans Fat: 0.5 gCholesterol: 34 mgSodium: 427 mgFiber: 5 gSugar: 45 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2009 Cory Schreiber. Photo © 2009 Sara Remington. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I thought this slump dessert was great! I made it camping, which was easy to do using a large cast-iron skillet and tinfoil to cover it. I think it would work the same to make many small dumplings, but I didn’t try it.

The cardamom gave the dumplings a great flavor that went with the stone fruit very well. I used plums, nectarines, and a few peaches. I think straight peaches would be awesome and I think with a tweak to the seasonings it would be awesome with apples, too.

I will say that this was not what I expected, although since I’d never had or made a slump before, I’m not sure why I thought they would taste like biscuits. These were more spongy, like warm salty cake. I know how that sounds, but trust me, it’s delicious when paired with the sweet, sticky fruit underneath—we each had 3 servings!

I didn’t have peaches or nectarines, but I did have 1 1/2 pounds of freshly pitted Montmorency sour cherries, which are also a stone fruit. There was only enough for half a recipe; ounce measurements for dry ingredients made it easy to halve the recipe exactly.

The only modification I would make is to adjust the amount of sugar; I needed the full cup of sugar because the cherries were so sour, but I think in the end I could have added another 1/8 cup and still been happy (and I am not a fan of overly sweet foods).

It all went into my All-Clad 3 1/2-quart saucepan with lid. It took about 30 minutes of simmering to fully cook the dumplings though. The biscuits were very tasty and the fruit was perfectly cooked—no burned spots, which I was initially concerned about.

The flavor of this stone fruit slump is good and the recipe is relatively easy to make. Pitting the fruit can be a time-consuming activity, though. The fruit has to be fully ripe, but not overripe or it can be mushy.

I used the minimum amount of sugar, even though the nectarines weren’t quite as sweet as I would’ve liked. Also, I think that I’ve had slump recipes that were more like cobblers done on the stove with fluffier biscuits, but since the flavor of this was so good, I wouldn’t change it.

I made this slump dessert with frozen mangoes and it worked out just fine. I had some neighbors over for after dinner and drinks and dessert and this was gone before the end of the night!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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  1. I have been looking for something like this for years, At my high school, the cooks really cooked back then, and one dessert was what I though was blueberry with vanilla pudding poured over the top and somehow was always warm. I remember the slight taste of cinnamon, It was so good. I would get it every time they served it. So I am not sure if this is it or not. The cook that made the dessert was German so maybe something from her homeland. Maybe this it what she made maybe someone might know if they have something like this from Germany.

    1. Dev, not sure if this is the same recipe, but it does sound similar. If you make it, please let me know what you think and how close it comes to your memory.

  2. If, gasp, you use frozen fruit, does it need to be thawed? Can this be made with fresh blueberries, or a combo of blueberries and stone fruit? I’m not the best “winging it” cook/baker so any help would be great! Thanks!

    1. Susan, I think you’ll find that this is quite the forgiving dessert, even for those who aren’t accustomed to “winging” it in the kitchen. You can absolutely use a combo of blueberries and stone fruits. And if using frozen fruit, simply allow a few additional minutes over the heat for the fruit to thaw. We’re looking forward to hearing what you tried and how you fared…