A slump is a simple steamed pudding, somewhat akin to a 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
LC Slump Note
We ‘fess up. We just sort of like saying “slump.” It sounds so…bohemian. We just sort of like eating slump, too. Its taste is perhaps best described as somewhat boho as well, but in the best possible way–a communion of cake and dumpling, if you will.
Stone Fruit Slump
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.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I thought this 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 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 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!
Originally published July 26, 2012