So, I’m starting to realize that having fruit trees in our yard is a big commitment. I just can’t stand to see the fruit go to waste, which means I actually have to do something with it. Last week, just as we were packing up to head out of town, I decided to make jam from the plums and the wild plums that were dropping all over the yard. It turned out to be really good – still a hint of tartness, and really fresh tasting.
Then, when we got back to town, we had a whole new batch of plums to deal with. So I decided to make a plum pie, even though I’ve never tasted, or even heard of one. It just happened that I had also picked a big bunch of basil from our garden and a few early (or late?) tangerines and they were all on the counter while I was preparing the plums. The smells were so delicious, and blended really well, so a new recipe was born: backyard plum pie. It didn’t firm up completely, but had a great, complex flavor and was incredible with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Here’s the recipe:
Jen’s Backyard Plum Pie
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
10 2/3 Tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. water w/ 1 ice cube
2 1/2 lbs. cut plums
1 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. sugar
1 + 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
6 – 8 leaves basil
grated zest of 1 tangerine
2 tbsp. corn starch
1 tbsp. flour
1/2 vanilla bean
1 Tbsp. cream or milk
1. Preheat oven to 375º.
2. Prepare the crust (following double recipe, above, and skipping the pie-weight step), and divide into two balls. Roll out one ball for the bottom crust and fit into pie plate. Wrap the second ball in wax paper and refrigerate.
3. Mix 2 Tbsp. of sugar and 1/4 tsp. of cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside
4. Mix the plums with 1 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, corn starch and flour.
5. tear the basil into small pieces and add to plums. Grate the tangerine zest into mixture. Split the vanilla bean length-wise and scrape the seeds into the plums.
6. Pour plum mixture into prepared crust and roll out the remaining crust for the top. Drape top crust over filling, pinch edges and decorate with a fork if desired. Brush the top of the pie with the cream and sprinkle with the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Make 6 slits at the center of pie to allow steam to escape.
7. Bake pie for 1/2 hour. Then tent loosely with tinfoil to prevent over-browning, and continue to bake for about 1 hour, or until the filling bubbles thickly through the pie slits. Cool completely on a rack.