I did not let you down, and I went ahead and made a pie with those plums I was telling you about the other day. I looked around to see if I can find any sort of recipe for a plum pie, but I didn’t find one that I liked. So I decided to consult the Joy of Cooking, and used it as a guide to make the pie. I think the biggest concern people have with making any sort of pie is the dough, and honestly I was a little apprehensive that this would be a total disaster because the dough wouldn’t come out good. I also wasn’t sure how to make the dough, and by that I mean butter, shortening, or combination of both. I came to the conclusion that being a kosher blog, it would be more beneficial if the pie was parve, even though I really wanted to try a pie with butter (2 sticks of it no less). That meant that I would have to work with shortening which I’ve never worked with before. The principles were the same – whatever fat you’re using, be it butter shortening, or combination, you want the fat to stay as solid as you can without it dispersing all over the flour, and that’s what gives it it’s flakyness. Butter has the advantage of adding flavor, while shortening apparently gives a better pie crust (not 100% sure why tho), is less fattening, and is also parve. So in “short” I went with shortening (lame joke, I know).
Where was I?
Oh yeah..so as I was saying, the fat has to stay as solid as possible, and the trick to achieving that is – keep the fat of choice as cold as possible. What this does is basically delays the melting of the fat when you start working it into the dough. This whole process enables you to have pieces of fat dispersed through the dough, and when you go to bake it, it will ideally form layers of dough with the fat separating it thus giving you ultimate flakedom.
Wow – that was a long intro to this whole pie thing.
For all of you still reading (hi mom) – to make the dough, I combined 2.5 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar (which by the way, I put in the food processor first and let it whizz away, to make powdered sugar, because that much granulated sugar would’ve made the dough too sticky…), and a teaspoon of salt. Pulsed a few times to combine, and then put in 1 cup of really frozen shortening, thusly.
Pulse a few times, until it’s fairly crumbly, but not to the point where it’s too sandy. You want some chunks in there.
Add 1/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon of ice cold water, and a few pulses later, and voila –
Spilled it on to the counter, and shaped it into a disk.
Isn’t that a good picture?
I made two disks, wrapped them in saran wrap, and put them in fridge (again – that whole “cold” shpiel)
I then went on to the plums
Cut them up, and that’s where I encountered the problem I totally didn’t think of. So here’s the thing – these plums were pretty small, and you know how the pit is pretty much stuck to the “flesh?” These were some what mushy, and when I cut into them, they pretty much just fell apart, and I tried to get as much flesh as I can off.
When I was trying to think of what goes well with the plums, my dear wife suggested blackberries, and they worked really well, so she gets half the credit. To the plum-blackberry mix, I threw in 3/4 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, juice and zest of a half of lemon, and a smidgen of salt. Mixed it all together.
I heated the oven to 350, and while it was preheating, I rolled out the dough
Transferred to a pie pan, and crimped the edges, and put it in the oven with some beans on parchment paper to weigh it down while it bakes.
After about 30 minutes in the oven, I took it out and filled it with the plum-blackberry mixture. I took the other disc I had set aside, and rolled it out, and cut strips, and used it to make a lattice topping.
I was rummaging around to see what sort of design I can put on the pie, and the only cookie cutters I have are chanukka ones, and went with the magen david cut out. I topped the dough with an egg wash, and sprinkled some sugar on top, and threw that baby into the oven for another 4o minutes. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes before smashing it in someones face, or eating, whichever.
What came out of the oven, was this amazing, sweet and tart, flaky goodness…just absolute goodness.
It looks like it’s sticking a tongue out at you.
Anyway, sorry for the lengthy post, I just kept on going on and on..
Have a good shabbos