Rosewater Poached Plum Pistachio Crisp

rosewater poached plum pistachio crisp

A few weeks ago, Meg and I took a lovely road trip to Vermont to visit James and Zoe at Farmhouse Pottery. It was my first time to Vermont, ever, and I was immediately enamored. Lush greens at every turn, looming noble mountains surrounding us, evidence of farm and rural life abound – this was just the environment. Woodstock fit my image of the quintessential New England small town, with vibrant restaurants, cafes, shops, and people milling around without any rush or urgency. I’m definitely going back. I can’t wait to see it in full fall plumage, and then that mud season locals kept talking about – I’m kind of curious about the buzz around it. For those of you who are Farmhouse Pottery fans (who isn’t?!), we’re planning something special this upcoming spring :), so keep your eyes out and email me at hello [at] to be put on the mailing list!

rosewater poached plum pistachio crisp

We had to stop at the famous Woodstock farmer’s market. Year round, locally grown, and AMAZING. Oh my god. I think Boston has great markets, but this one had a charm about it – maybe its the Vermont air, or maybe its the fact that everything is packed into a relatively small space, but I felt like I stepped into a produce wonderland. Beautifully colored heirloom tomatoes, 5 different types of peaches, and plums like I’d never seen before. I eyed these beautiful “red plums” but I wasn’t sure what they tasted like. I think I stood there deliberating for at least 5 minutes, until one of the kind workers started laughing at me and just told me to go on and take a bite. So. Juicy. Sweet. Fragrant. I started shoveling them in a bag.
rosewater poached plum pistachio crisp

rosewater poached plum pistachio crispI ate most of these fresh, but I kept some to make a crisp. I didn’t think they needed that much extra flavoring, but I lightly poached them in rose-infused water and topped it with a pistachio topping. Poaching the plum made it SUPER juicy without making the topping soggy, exactly how I like my crisps.

rosewater poached plum pistachio crispI used vanilla bean in the poaching water as well to give it some extra fragrance. Then, I plopped the vanilla bean shell into my sugar jar – vanilla sugar!!!! You can buy rosewater, or if you have dried rose petals, simply infuse it in some hot water and let sit. It’s simple and easy enough to do. When your plums are poaching, your kitchen will smell amazing.

rosewater poached plum pistachio crisp

rosewater-poached-plum-pistacho-crisp | le jus dThe topping is a typical one that I always use – includes rolled oats, brown sugar, and of course, butter. You can make it in a food processor or do it the old fashioned method: with your hands.

rosewater poached plum pistachio crisprosewater poached plum pistachio crisp

Initially, I was worried about the filling being too juicy or runny. The worst thing, in my opinion, that can happen to a crumble is an overly soggy one that ruins the topping. You want a crispy, crunchy topping over a juicy filling that meshes together in perfect harmony. I found that the trick was to make sure you drain the plums completely when you put them into the baking pan. Ensure that there is no residual poaching liquid that makes it into the pans (or in this case, cocottes).

rosewater poached plum pistachio crisprosewater poached plum pistachio crisprosewater poached plum pistachio crispI like to sprinkle some demarara sugar on top for some extra crunch.
rosewater poached plum pistachio crispEnjoy hot, served with a dollop of vanilla creme fraiche or ice cream.


  • Some plums will be riper or juicier than others. If you have particularly unripe plums, that’s fine, just add a bit more sugar to combat the tang. Feel free to taste the poached plums and adjust to your own preference.
  • If you wanted to skip the poaching all together with some very juicy, ripe plums, I’d just toss it with a tiny bit of rosewater with the rest of the ingredients – cornstarch, sugar, etc.
  • You can substitute pistachios for any other nuts. I’m just allergic to all other tree nuts, for some reason. But I can eat pistachios.
  • You can bake this in any baking dish – crisps are forgiving and low maintenance, so have fun with it.

rosewater poached plum pistachio crisp

Note: This post is in collaboration with staub, who provided the cocottes and knives for this post. All opinions expressed here are my own. 

Bowls: ogusky ceramics / wooden board: michael’s woodcraft / cocottes: staub / mortar + pestle: Boston General Store / brass strainer: Boston General Store

Recipe: Rosewater Poached Plum Pistachio Crisps

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup heaping flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tsp dried rose
½ cup crushed pistachio
demara sugar, for sprinkling

Poached plums
¼ cup rosewater
1 tsp cornstarch
vanilla bean scraped
~800 g plums, halved and de-pitted
2 tsp sugar 

1| Heat up 1/2 cup water until boiling. Infuse with rose petals and let sit.
2| Poach Plums: Slice vanilla bean lengthwise and scoop out the beans. Reserve pod in a jar of sugar (you can use this vanilla sugar for the last sugar sprinkle!). In a large, wide saucepan, put 1/4 cup water with rose petals, vanilla scrapings, and plums. Bring to a simmer and cover. Poach for 7-10 minutes. Drain and remove. Toss with sugar and cornstarch.
3| Put about 3-4 plum halves into each cocotte.
4| Crisp Topping: Cut butter into flour – I like to use my hands and pinch butter into flour. It is normal to have pea-sized chunks throughout the mixture. Add in oats, brown sugar, pistachios, rose petals. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes.
5| Preheat oven to 375F.
6| Spoon topping onto mini cocottes. DO NOT PRESS.
7| Sprinkle vanilla-sugar or demarara sugar on top of crisp topping. Place cocottes onto a baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes, until crisp is golden brown and bubbling.
Note: Shallow round cocotte were sent to me by staub; all opinions expressed here are purely my own.

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  • I can’t get over how gorgeous these pictures are, Betty! And that farmer’s market in Vermont sounds like a dream.ReplyCancel

  • Betty, this is just gorgeous! I love everything about this post. These red plums look sooo delicious! I love the rosewater & pistachio combination, I’m sure it tastes heavenly! And your photos are stunning. <3ReplyCancel

  • So beautiful Betty! I’ve seen so many crisp recipes lately but this one with plums and pistachios and rosewater seems particularly tempting. I’ve been buying a big bag full of plums, pluots and nectarines from the farmer’s market every week and greedily eating them as is but I think I could spare a few for this (especially if I bake it in a mini ramekin!)

    I love the last picture too btw :)ReplyCancel

    • Ah your comments are always the sweetest – I admit I probably ate most of the plums I got, but there is always room to spare a few for a crisp :).ReplyCancel

  • I love the combination of flavours you have used here! I cannot wait until stonefruit is back in season so I can make a big old crisp or cobbler or the like. Except I’m going to have to purchase some of these mini cocottes STAT, they are gorgeous! (and next time I use a vanilla bean I am definitely going to put the pod into my sugar pot :))ReplyCancel

    • Thanks Hannah!!!! and definitely put it in the sugar pot – when you open it next time for usage, you’ll get blasted in the face with the most wonderful vanilla fragrance.ReplyCancel

  • Gorgeous! You know I’m also obsessed with those satsuma plums—they surprise me every summer, even though I know they’re coming. That color! Incredible. And with rosewater? Perfection.ReplyCancel

  • Hi Betty,
    I was lucky enough to find your blog through the #drinkthesummer event. It looks like I’ve hit the jackpot! Your photos and your recipe look outrageous. And your taste/texture sensibilities look to be the same as mine. Runny crisps are a no in my book! You must have a perfect crunchy top. I am the same with pie. Runny fruit has no business on any plate of mine. Perhaps I am a bit over zealous about this, but pie and crisps are serious business. The pistachio in this crumble is inspiring. I never thought about adding them before and now I will.ReplyCancel

  • Mmmmmm Yum! Betty! These look and sound absolutely amazing! I love making desserts with rosewater, it’s so light and romantic. Adding vanilla bean to that.. purely heaven.ReplyCancel

  • Betty, these photos are incredible! I love the plum and pistachio combo so much. I go to Dartmouth and can vouch for the quality of the Woodstock FM. Love love love.ReplyCancel

    • Oh my gosh! I recently fell in love with New Hampshire – I’m pretty new to the New England area and am finally getting out of Boston to explore other parts of NE. Our next workshop is in NH and I could not be more excited. Thanks so much for the lovely comment <3. Kind of jealous you go to college is such a lovely area!ReplyCancel

  • I love everything about this, Betty! The photos, the recipe, your story. Thank you for a few moments of bliss visiting your space today <3ReplyCancel

  • Your photos here are absolutely gorgeous, conveying your work in the process of making the crumble, the atmosphere, those wonderful poached plums…I just love it! Adding pistachios to the crumble topping looks beautiful too, they go so well with plums. :)ReplyCancel

  • Honestly cannot get over how beautiful your photos are– you’re amazingly talented. I just bought a bunch of plums the other day and couldn’t decide what to do with I can! Also love the idea of adding rosewater, so elegant! xoReplyCancel

  • Ahhh….!!! So Wooodstock is pretty much Gilmore Girls?! Boston, Woodstock, wherever! I just want to visit any delightful town like that where I can just watch my surroundings, not feel like everyone’s in a rush, and be a “regular” at the little cafe down the block, hheehhee. These photos are gorgeous as usual mah friend~what a lovely post <3ReplyCancel

  • I have always wanted to visit Vermont (and eat my weight in cheese and ice cream)! Oh, I reeeeally wanna make a fruit crisp now. Like, immediately. Like, I’m on my way to the grocery store now.
    Also, I just want to let you know that I stared at the slideshow on your homepage for like 2 minutes. You are master of the moody photograph!!!ReplyCancel

  • I love everything about this!! So many of my favorite flavors in one, amazing dish. Plus, I ADORE these individual skillets/cocottes. MUST get some for fall baking!!ReplyCancel

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