Pie Therapy

Recipes and ruminations on pie.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Plum Lavender - Experimental Pie

I have been baking a lot of pies from a lot of recipes. Generally though they are recipes from pre-1970, and they are often too sweet. I wanted to update the tastes and flavor and cut down on the sweet.

I bought a bunch of duarte plums. They are purple-black on the outside and yellow on the inside. The skin is tart and the inside is mellow sweet.

I decided to try this press in crust recipe with plums and my updates.

Press-in-pan pastry
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1/2 c soft butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 2 lbs duarte plums quartered and pitted
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 T fresh lavender chopped
Pastry - Beat egg until frothy, add sugar and salt; beat until thickens. Blend butter into dry ingredients. Add egg mixture to flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Press dough into a 9" - greased - pie plate. Put in the refrigerator.

Pit and quarter the plums and arrange them on the pie plate. Sprinkle with remaining ingredients.

Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for 45 minutes longer.

The pie was beautiful. The crust was something between cake, crust and cookie. It enveloped the pie. The lavender was great. The lemon juice though was too tangy - and it wasn't sweet enough. A very adult pie.

Hubby liked the experimental idea - but thought it was too tart - ice cream was must. But it is worth some tweaks and a try again.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Peachy Praline Pie

My friend was having a birthday, she requested a pie. Anything she said, fruit definitely. At the market, the peaches were on the wane, so I tried Peachy Praline Pie.

  • Unbaked 9" pie shell
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 4 c sliced peaches
  • 1 1/2 t lemon juice
  • 1/3 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1/2 c chopped pecans
  • 3 T butter
Combine granulated sugar and 3 T flour in a large bowl. Add peaches and lemon juice. Combine brown sugar, 1/4 c flour & pecans in small bowl. Mix in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle one third of pecan mixture over bottom of pie shell. Cover with peach mixture and sprinkle remaining pecan mixture over peaches. Bake in 400 oven until peaches are tender about 40 minutes.

This pie was good. But the peaches weren't nearly as good as the previous peach pie - clearly the peaches matter. I liked the idea of the pralines, but it wasn't as carmely as I had hoped. Good but not perfect.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Plum Spice Pie

This time of the year, there are always a lot of plums at the market - duarte, satsuma, black, red, yellow, and more. I wanted to try a plum pie. I purchased a mix of purple colored plums at the market with the intent of pie.

I used a recipe from, yes the Farm Journal, for Purple Plum Pie.

Unbaked 9" pie shell
4 c sliced pitted purple plums
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c flour
1/4 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon
1 T lemon juice

Spicy Topping
1/2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/4 t cinnmon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 c butter

Remove pits and cut plums in quarters. Combine with sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon. Turn into pie shell and sprinkle with lemon juice.

Combine dry spicy topping ingredients and cut in butter. Springkly it over the pie.

Place pie in heavy brown paper bag. Flod over open end twice to close and fasten with clips. Bake 1 hour at 425. Remove from over, let rest a few minutes beofre removing pei from paper bag. Partially cool on rack.

This pie was fab. Maybe could've cut back on the sugar a bit. But it was super tasty. I was skeptical of the brown paper bag, but it kept the plum juicy and the crust crunchy. I made this one just for home. So we actually ate it the night of. It probably could've set longer - but hubby loved it. And, I shared with M-I-L and our neighbor. They both enjoyed it for breakfast.

According to the book, it is "best faintly warm with nippy cheese (what is that?) slices or scoops of ice cream. I actually thoug it stood well on its own.

Def a keeper.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Deep Dishin' Peach Plum Pie

"Even the inexperienced cook excels with these pies. She need not blush over a soggy undercrust," quoted my fantabulous Complete Pie Cookbook.

The deep dish pie is an interesting animal. It is essentially 1/2 the pie crust with double the fruit. The crust is much simpler, you just roll it out, plop it on top of a flat caserole typ dish and cut a few steam vents.

My friend was having a bbq, so I decided to try Peach-Plum (deep dish) Pie.

  • Pastry for a 1-crust pie
  • 2 c sliced peeled peaches
  • 2 c quartered red plums
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 2 T butter
Place fruits in an 8x8x2 pan (I used a 10x6x2 oval). Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon, sprinkle over fruits. Dot with butter. Roll the dough over the size of the dish. Trim the edges and place on top of dish. Fold edge of crust under and prest against inside of pan. Cut steam vents. bake 35-40 minutes in a 425 degree oven.

I didn't cut enough vents and it broke through the sides and bubbled over. I brought it to the party and warmed it up once it was dessert time. I served it with ice cream and was able to stretch what was meant to serve 6 to serve 11 small portions.

Hubby loved it. And 4 of the men at the party made a point to come by and say how great it was. The hostess commented that it was good but too sweet for her. (sometimes she is a little too honest). I thought it was fairly good. The inside was also a nice color. I just felt like I was cheating a little with the deep dish.