When we moved into our house around this time last year we discovered that the property had a plum tree. I was so excited and I think the tree was just as excited as I was because this year it has gone crazy with fruit. We have had to try to prop up the branches so that they don’t snap under the weight of the fruit but I realized I needed to come up with some good recipes for all of the fruit. When I asked my husband what dish he wanted me to try first he asked for a pie. I have to confess I have never heard of a plum pie outside of nursery rhymes so it seemed like an interesting challenge to take on. Very stubbornly I didn’t find a recipe that I really liked so I decided to play around with a few different recipes to suit my own taste. I knew it was a bit of a gamble since I had never done anything like this before but as you might have gathered I like the challenge. Plum pie is a very runny pie and I didn’t successfully overcome this issue, however it was one of the best pies I have eaten in a long time! The plum filling was slightly tart with a sweet crust and the addition of the cream I used to serve with it was just perfect.
200g (1 c.) caster sugar
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
3 heaped Tbsp cornflour
200g unsalted butter
100g (1/2 c.) sugar
350g (1 3/4 c.) flour
2-3 Tbsp cold water
1 beaten egg
Thick double cream* optional
Put the plums, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon in to a sauce pan and heat until the sugar dissolves and the plums are juicy, about 8-10 minutes.
Add the cornflour mixture to the plums and cook for 2 minutes longer. Take off the heat and cool completely. It is important that the plums are cooled before you added it to the dough so it might help to tip the plums into a large flat pan so that it spreads out and cools faster.
Add in the flour and baking powder to the butter with a fork of a pastry knife until mixture is crumbly.
Add one Tbsp of cold water at a time. You want the dough to clump together so if you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough doesn’t hold together, add a little more water and mix more. Note that too much water will make the crust tough. Divide mixture into two portions and gently shape the dough into two small disks. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
Roll out second dough disk and place on top of the pie. Pinch the edges together and paint with remaining egg. Score the top of the pie with four 2-inch long cuts, so that steam from the cooking pie can escape.