Monday, October 7, 2013
I got brave and made pie crust so I could do the rectangular one they show in their recipe. I don't know how they had enough leftover dough to make all the lattice and edging the recipe describes. I barely got strips going the short way across. The rest of the recipe works as intended.
I did make a couple of changes. First, I'm not partial to almond flavoring and used brandy instead. Second, I got away with using a lot of sugar because the plums were on the hard side. (Probably why they were cheap.) For the post, I'm cutting down the amount you need by 1/3. You won't get as much of a pretty gel, but it won't taste like plum jam either. All the white stuff on the tops of the plums in the photo is excess sugar that never hydrated.
2 C flour, plus more for the board
1 tsp salt
3/4 C shortening
5 to 6 Tb cold water
1. Stir together flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
2. Sprinkle in cold water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture just holds together. Shape into a ball and let rest 30 minutes, to let moisture make its way through the dough and relax the glutens.
3. Roll 3/4 of dough into a rectangle 18" by 14". Lay in a 13" by 9" baking dish and trim off the overhang, returning it to the remaining 1/4. Chill while preparing filling.
4 lbs plums (I used a mix of red and black)
1 Tb brandy
4 Tb butter
1 C sugar
1/4 C flour
milk for brushing
1. Halve plums and remove pits. One side should come off when you twist it open. If it's stubborn, use a melon baller to get it out. Once all are halved, arrange in pie crust, cut side down. Sprinkle with brandy and dot with little bits of butter.
2. In a small bowl, stir together flour and sugar. Sprinkle mixture around sides of plums. You can see from the photo above that I shouldn't have let much sit on top of the topmost plums.
3. Preheat oven to 425º. While it's heating, roll remaining dough into a 15" by 5" rectangle, which is where I said "how?" to myself. I got 10" by 3". Good luck. Cut whatever you get into 1/2" wide strips and lay across top of pie, hopefully in a grid pattern with round plums showing through the squares. If you have enough, create a rope edge along the top of the pan. Brush tops with milk to help in browning and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown.
4. Allow to cool until just warm before serving. It's easier to cut when cold, then reheat in microwave.
Difficulty rating :)