the plum worship continues ::::
When I posted my plum-cardamom jam recipe in July, I warned you of an onslaught of plum recipes. I’ve reined myself in, deciding to focus on pie today. I also reprised a plum kuchen, the recipe posted about five (!) years ago. It was so good, I had to make two and pass one onto the neighbors who shared the plums. We also made a tangy, moist-for-days pan of plum rolls (in the style of cinnamon rolls, replacing the butter and spice with plummy goodness). We ate those for breakfast daily. That bit o’ leftover frozen plum mash ended up as a apricot-plum popsicle trial (most of the apricots on their way to be an apricot-earl grey jam — recipe soon).
So today, we mark it with pie. I actually made this pie when the plums were fresh in June. Mid-July hit me hard: after a week of sniffling and coughing, sucking on at least 100 cough drops to control the cough at work, my taste and sense of smell disappeared. The menthol destroyed my taste buds: inoperable. The matcha russian cream and plum-cardamom jam was pre-gustatory loss, the salsa and roti lingering at the fringes. This blip certainly stalled my usual fiddling with the blog and recipes. There can be no blog with storied recipes without the central tenet of taste. I briefly considered another taster for an extended period, but then these words would be more theirs and not mine, not at all authentic.
It was the first week of August that I finally felt more normal again: I could taste the nuances of flavors of fruit and not just the sweetness, I could differentiate between spices, I felt that roundness of flavors again. I could experience food with my family. Pie. To celebrate!
One year ago: bottle cutting: an art project (I upcycle glass bottles to drinkware)
Two years ago: zucchini whoopie pies
Three years ago: nectarine murabba with cardamom, rosewater, and lemon
- FOR THE FILLING: 5 cups fresh plums, pitted and roughly chopped
- ¾ to 1½ cup sugar (It depends on how sweet the plums are. Add less sugar, taste, and decide if the mixture needs more.)
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch, mix with about ½ cup of plum juice
- 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
- FOR THE CRUST -- PATE BRISEE (for a latticed 10-inch pie):
- 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons sugar
- 2½ teaspoons salt
- 3 sticks (1½ cup) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- ½ cup ice water, approximately
- a sprinkle of unflavored bread crumbs (to prevent pie bottom sogginess)
- one 9-inch pie plate
- FOR THE FILLING: Mix cornstarch, sugar, and plum juice (and top off with water if you don't have enough juice). Mix into plums. Allow to sit 15 minutes.
- Add lemon juice and ginger. Set aside.
- FOR THE CRUST: In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add cold butter, pulsing between handfuls. You are aiming for a texture of coarse crumbs.
- With machine running, add ice water slowly, just until dough holds together, not wet or sticky. Process gently. The dough is ready when not too crumbly. If it is, add a spoonful of more water.
- Put the dough on a work surface and divide in half. Wrap with plastic and place each flattened disk into refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight.
- TO ASSEMBLE: Roll out one dough to just larger than 11-inch diameter. Place into pie plate and chill at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, roll out other dough disk to make decorative crust toppers. I chose a firefly theme for summer. Chill these cutouts to firm. You will have leftover dough, which can be frozen for weeks if well-wrapped.
- Preheat oven to 400 deg F.
- Remove pie plate from fridge and sprinkle pie bottom with breadcrumbs. Pour prepared plum mixture into pie plate and top with your decorative crust cutouts.
- Place a pan underneath the pie plate to catch drips. Bake at 400 deg F for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375 deg F and bake for about 45 minutes. You may need to cover the crust edges with foil if they are getting too brown before baking time is done. Pie is done with crust is browned and fruit is bubbly. Cool to room temperature before serving. Store on counter top for up to a day, then in fridge for up to 4 days.