Plum and apple pie

This is plum recipe four of five, and it’s easily the best of them all.

I’d had it in my mind to use this recipe, minus the apples, to make a plum-only pie, until my friend Andrea came over to help me bake one Sunday afternoon and brought with her a paper bag full of apples from the tree in her backyard. Plum and apple pie it was.

Because plums are juicy and get even more so when mixed with sugar and put in the oven, this is a single-crust pie; a double-crust would result it a soggy bottom crust. Therefore, the single crust really has to be spectacular, and I’m happy to report that this crust is amazing. It’s really a big sugar cookie with a hint of lemon and cinnamon and it puffs up perfectly when baked…definitely worthy of eating in its own right, but add sweet, ripe plums and crisp, tart apples, and you end up with the stuff pie dreams are made of.

Plum and apple pie
Again, from Smitten Kitchen. She can do no wrong. I substituted lemon zest for the orange zest she calls for in the original recipe.

7 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 egg, beaten
1 cup plus 6 1/2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour (excuse the strange quantities; I believe this recipe was adapted from a British recipe)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
sugar for sprinkling crust

1 pound plums, pitted and quartered
1 pound apples, peeled, cored, and cut into smaller chunks (so that everything will bake evenly)
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
a squeeze or lemon juice

To make the crust, cream the butter, sugar, and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg, and then slowly add the flour, baking powder, and salt; beat until combined. Scrape dough onto a piece of waxed paper and stick it in the freezer for 20 minutes.

Time to assemble the pie. Preheat the oven to 350˚ and butter a pie dish. In a large bowl (or in the pie dish), add the fruit and sprinkle it with the sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Gently toss it all together a couple of times and transfer to the pie dish.

Roll out the pie dough on a well-floured surface and then lift it onto the pie and trim off the overhang. Feel free to eat some scraps of dough, or use them to make a fancy star on the crust.

Bake for 40 minutes, until it’s lightly golden on top.

The plums turn the most beautiful shade of scarlet, which is lovely when it’s safely in a bowl or in your mouth, but not so much when it’s on your white shirt. So be careful.

I don’t usually post songs on here because I figure once I start, I won’t be able to not post music. However, I’m making an exception for this song because it so wonderfully captures Seattle for me right now (the video was shot around town, I believe). It’s “White Daisy Passing” by Rocky Votolato—enjoy!


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