Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Crumb Topped Prune Plum Pie

Promise me you will make this pie before all the prune plums are gone for the (too) short season. Promise. These plums are just so superior to what you get year round, and this pie isn't nearly as wonderful without them.

I've already candied batches of the plums, and tomorrow I'll make the yearly batch of plum sauce for dumplings. I cooked and put through a food mill enough to fill a couple pint jars for the freezer, and I've eaten more plain, out-of-hand than I care to admit. I don't know why I love these little plums the way I do, but I wait each year for the end of summer so I can binge shamelessly on them. Oh, they are really, really, delicious. And so is this pie. So hurry, the season is quite short, and if you blink, you'll have to wait until next year. That's a long time to wait for a pie.

From Better Homes and Gardens Pies and Cakes, 1966:

You Will Need:

9 inch single crust pastry, unbaked (My recipe follows below)

1 3/4 pounds fresh plums, pitted and quartered (4 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup water
3/4-1 cup sugar (I used 3/4)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup AP flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons butter

Crust for single 9 inch shell:

1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
4-5 tablespoons ice water

Toss flour and salt together. Cut in butter. Add water slowly until dough comes together. Roll.

Make filling ahead:

Combine plums and water. Cook until boiling, then cook 3 minutes. Reduce heat. Mix together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add slowly to plums, stirring constantly (a heat-proof spatula works well here). Cook slowly stirring constantly until it thickens and becomes clear-about 5 minutes. Remove to a bowl and cool before using.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line dish with pastry building up the sides. I like to chill my crust in the plate before filling, but you don't need to. Fill with plums, then make topping by combining dry ingredients and cutting in butter until crumbly. Scatter on top of filling. Bake 30-35 minutes or until crust is baked.

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