This plum pie came to life basically as an after thought. I was gaming with myself to create an apple pie that would be worthy of the CIA's annual apple pie contest (for which the winner is awarded with a generous scholarship to apply to his/her freshman year at the Institute). I had left over pastry crust (recipe adapted from my grandmothers infamous slab apple cake) and a handful of very ripe plums, so I threw together what essentially was a "deep-dish" plum galette. It turned out so well, I immediately restocked our plum supply to make a full-sized version. This pie won second place in a pie baking contest sponsored by a local grocery store chain. It might have been the grand prize winner had the contest happened during prime plum season (the contest was held in late September, and my selection of plums was less than ideal). - katylua —katylua
Test Kitchen Notes
Having a slice of this tart yet sweet pie is a lovely way to spend a hot and lazy summer afternoon. With a deliciously flaky crust and lovely plummy filling, this pie is so simple to make, very rustic and absolutely charming. If your plums are sweet, a touch of lemon juice and/or lemon zest would really bring out the plummy flavor. And, if they're large, I suggest cutting each half into 4 pieces, so the structure of the plum stays intact while cooking. This is one of the loveliest pies I've had in a while. - Victoria —The Editors
1 1/2 cups
1 1/2 tablespoons
soft shortening (e.g., Crisco)
Filling and Finishing
large ripe plums
1 1/2 cups
freshly ground nutmeg (amount to taste)
cold butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
For the Crust: Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl until well blended. Cut shortening into the flour mixture. In a separate bowl whisk together egg yolk and water. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and mix well until dough forms into a ball. Roll out to cover a 9 inch pie plate. (Note: Dough should hang over dish lip by an inch or two. Do not trim.)
For the Filling: Halve and pit the plums. Slice into equally sized pieces (about 6-8 pieces per half). Arrange fruit on crust. Mix sugar, cinnamon and flour in a medium-sized bowl, and pour over the fruit. Grate nutmeg over fruit and sugar. Dot pie with butter.
Fold crust edges up over the filling. Brush crust with heavy cream using a pastry brush. Spring sugar over the crust.
Bake pie for 45 minutes (or until fruit is bubbling and crust is light brown). Cool on a wire rack. Serve while still warm with a scoop of premium vanilla ice cream.