Well, it’s my “Sunday” today. Which means, of course, that I had to go to the farmer’s market over the “weekend” before heading back to “work.”
I don’t even want to tell you how much of my paycheck I drop on fresh produce.
While I bravely abstained from buying another “happy” local chicken, I definitely ended up purchasing some mushrooms “by mistake.” Oysters. Plus, the kindly mushroom vendor slipped in a king trumpet, on the house! I’ve got the beginnings of a mushroom charcuterie board over here…but I don’t want to get any harebrained ideas. I’ll just stick to sautéing them in butter and pouring them over grains, meat, or pasta like everyone else.
After recently making plum preserves out of some of the most beautiful empress plums I have ever beheld, I’ve been feeling, well, really into plums.
Be honest with yourself: when was the last time you really savored biting into a plum? That tender, juicy, incredibly sweet flesh coupled with a tangy, sour exterior? And that frosted purple skin? I mean, come on! Nature’s just laughing all the way to the bank with that one.
Or at least, the fruit vendors are every time I come around…I snagged some grapes as I was checking out like someone might snag a candy bar at the grocery store. Sugar is sugar, I guess.
I pondered what to make of these gorgeous darlings for a while before finally settling on pie. But to make things a little more interesting, I decided to bring rye flour to the party.
If the thought of rye flour makes you sweat, or you’d rather not buy a $30 bag of flour to use once and never again, substitute for whole wheat or all-purpose flour. I chose rye for its aromatic, slightly nutty qualities. Getting a whiff of this pie as it’s coming into life in the oven is a true treat, and gives your senses something to ponder until it’s time, at last, to eat.
First, I mixed up the dough using equal parts rye and all-purpose flours, salt, a little sugar, butter, and water. This I let chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
I then washed the plums and cut them into uneven chunks (I like a little variety in each slice). I tossed these in a bowl with sugar, vanilla paste, orange juice, and a pinch of salt.
I rolled out half of the chilled dough on a floured surface. The rye flour makes this crust a little more prone to breaking than straight all-purpose flour, so I rolled the thin crust in my rolling pin and eased it over the pie plate.
I got a new rolling crinkle cutter toy from the kitchen store, and was very excited to put it to use!
Paint your beautiful, beautiful pie with egg wash, then it’s off to the races! Your home is about to smell amazing.
Use up these plums while they’re around, people! Your taste buds will thank you, and so will your local source.
Slightly Savory Rye Plum Pie
- 1 ½ c all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ c rye flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 1 c butter (two sticks)
- ½ c + 1 Tbs cold water
- 2 lbs plums, cut into varying sized chunks (skin on)
- 1/3 c brown sugar (light or dark)
- ¼ c all-purpose flour or white rice flour
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice or orange juice
- 1 three-fingered pinch of salt
- 4 Tbs butter, for dotting the top of fruit
- 1 egg, beaten
- Splash of heavy cream (optional)
- 1 Tbs finishing sugar, like demerara, turbinado, or another large-crystal sugar
- 1-2 pinches large flaked salt (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix dry ingredients for crust in a large bowl with a fork or a whisk. Cut butter into small chunks and incorporate with a pastry cutter or with your fingers. (Alternatively, use a cheese grater on its largest “setting” to break butter into small, uniform pieces and mix into the flour.) Add the water ¼ cup at a time and mix with your hands until dough comes together. Divide dough unto two even pieces, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge at least 20 minutes.
Cut plums into chunks of desired size, leaving the skins on, and place in another large bowl. Add brown sugar, flour, vanilla, fruit juice, and salt, and mix gently with your hands or a spatula or wooden spoon. Let the fruit juices sit in the sugar at least 10 minutes.
Roll out half of dough while fruit is macerating. Line a shallow pie dish, and add fruit when 10 minutes have passed, scraping out all the juice and sugar from the fruit bowl with a spatula. Dot the fruit with second measurement of butter, evenly distributing over the surface. Roll out second half of dough and place over the top of the fruit, creating a lattice if desired. Pinch the edges of the two pieces of rolled out dough together until a recognizable outer crust forms. (Alternatively, crimp edges with a fork and cover with foil, leaving the center of the pie uncovered.)
Beat egg in a small bowl and add cream, if using. Using a pastry brush, spread egg mixture over the top crust, coating all visible surfaces. Sprinkle finishing sugar over the crust and optional salt.
Bake 45 minutes-1 hour, tenting with foil for the last 20 minutes if desired to prevent crust from getting too dark. If you are worried about the pie bubbling over and sending molten sugar to burn on the bottom of your oven, place a cookie sheet underneath the pie tin. You want the fruit filling to bubble in order to cook the flour; this ensures the insides of your pie will thicken and set.
Let the pie cool at least 20 minutes before cutting into it. Enjoy with plain coconut milk or goat milk ice cream, whipped cream or coconut cream, yogurt, or sour cream or sweetened with a touch of honey.