Honeyed Italian Plum Pie

I am eating this pie as I write this.

Seriously, where have Italian plums been all my life?  They’ve always been a mysterious purple unknown at the market in the Fall and I’ve forgone them for the last nectarines or early pears, but after doing my ~Fall Baking Brainstorm~ last weekend, I made the conscious decision to dive in.

Thank God I did.  This is going to be one of my new Fall pie staples.  It’s a great way to ease into fall desserts, with the same juiciness of summer fruit pies and the warming spices we love in the colder months.  It also has a lovely soft sweetness from the addition of honey.

It also gave me the chance to amp up my dough cut out game.  There’s no better way to express feelings than through pie, so why not be a bit less subtle and literally spell it out?

That’s my kind of Fall, y’all.

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup butter (straight from the fridge, cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (I use cider vinegar, mix it in the water)

Filling Ingredients

  • 5 cups Italian plums, sliced or quartered depending on size (about 20 plums)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground allspice
  • Pinch of ground cardamom
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Raw sugar, for sprinkling
  • Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tsp water)

Steps

To make the crust, mix together flour, sugar and salt.  Using a pastry blender, “cut” in the butter. This means you’re almost mashing the butter into the flour with the blender, ensuring all butter is covered in flour until the butter pieces are about the size of peas or a bit bigger.

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Then, splash in a bit of your water mixture (2-3 tablespoons) and mix it around with your hand.  Continue to add a little at a time and mix and squish with your hand until a large dough ball forms.  If you need to get a bit more binding, add a bit of water to your fingers to help it along.  Don’t feel compelled to use all the water, mix it in until just combined and the dough is holding together.  Cut the dough ball into two halves and flatten into disks. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

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Remove from fridge and let sit for 5-10 minutes so the dough doesn’t crack. Roll out each disk on a floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick (it will be about 12-13 inches in diameter).

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Fold the rolled out crust in half and set into a buttered 9 inch pie pan.  Unfold gently and settle the bottom of the crust into the corners.  Roll out other dough half for the pie top or lattice and refrigerate both crusts.

To make the filling, mix plum slices with lemon juice, sugar and honey, stirring gently together.  Add flour, spices and salt and stir gently to combine.

Remove pie shell from fridge and sprinkle 1 tsp each of flour and sugar on the bottom to keep the crust from getting soggy.  Scoop in filling with a slotted spoon.

Create desired lattice or pie top.  To crimp the edge of the crust, “pinch and push” using your thumb and pointer finger and other thumb, like below:

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Place the pie in the fridge for 20 minutes and preheat the oven to 425F.

Remove pie from fridge and brush with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar to your liking.  The egg wash ensures the pie is nicely browned.

Place the pie on a baking sheet on the bottom oven rack and bake for 20 minutes until the pie crust is starting to set and brown.  Reduce the oven heat to 375F and bake for 30-35 minutes until the crust has browned and juices are bubbling throughout the pie.  Let cool for 2-3 hours and enjoy!

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