Spiced Plum Crumble Pie

By • October 28, 2013 6 Comments

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Author Notes: Tart plums and warm fall spices are a perfect compliment to the richness of holiday dishes. While I normally love double-crust pies, the crumble here adds a little extra sweetness from the brown sugar, along with some extra spice from the cloves and cinnamon. The crumble also means each component can be made up to 2 days before assembling and baking--it can even be baked the day before serving (perfect for when oven space is at a premium).

This recipe is inspired by the process for plum chutney pie from Melissa Clark and the dried fruit in my favorite plum chutney recipe, plus a little requisite holiday booze.
Christina @ My Homespun Home

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Serves 8-10

Pie crust (makes one double 9" crust, half can be frozen for later use)

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter, cut into chunks (up to 1/2 cup can be substituted with leaf lard)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons ice water
  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar into a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, vinegar, and water.
  3. With a pastry cutter or fork, begin to cut the fats into the flour, then stir in the egg mixture. Continue to cut in the fats until the dough is shaggy and holds together when you gently squeeze a handful.
  4. Dump out dough onto a pastry board and fold a few times until all of the dough just begins to come together.
  5. Divide in half and wrap each tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or up to a few days.

Plum pie with crumb topping

  • 1 single 9" pie crust
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, finely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 pounds plums, pitted and chopped (about 6 cups)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest, freshly grated
  • 2 tablespoons instant tapioca
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit (any combination of cranberries, golden raisins, and currants)
  • Juice of 1/2 an orange
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  1. Prepare enough pie dough for a single-crust 9-inch pie, refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring vinegar, water, brown sugar, star anise, cinnamon stick, rosemary sprig, ginger, pepper, cardamom, and salt to a simmer, stirring to help dissolve sugar.
  3. Add 1/3 of plums and simmer until thickened and jammy, stirring frequently, 20 to 30 minutes. Cool, then discard star anise, cinnamon stick and rosemary.
  4. Toss remaining 2/3 plums, granulated sugar, honey, orange zest and tapioca in a bowl and set aside. (If your plums are tart, add more sugar to taste.)
  5. Heat brandy and orange juice in a small pan until just simmering and pour over dried fruit. Let cool, stirring occasionally.
  6. Mix chopped plums, cooked plum chutney from step 3, reconstituted fruit and any remaining liquid, set aside.
  7. Roll out pie dough to fit a 9" pie tin. Lightly grease and flour tin, transfer dough to tin, and crimp edge. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
  8. Prepare the crumb topping by combining flour, brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Using your hands, work in butter until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated into butter and large, marble-size clumps form when pinched. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  9. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  10. Line pie crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or beans. Bake for 18 minutes. Remove weights and paper, and bake another 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly.
  11. Pour plum filling into crust and top with crumble.
  12. Turn oven down to 350 degrees and place pie on a baking sheet on middle rack in oven. Bake for 60 to 90 minutes, or until fruit bubbles up and top is golden brown.

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