The farmers markets haven’t opened in Fort Wayne, and yet, I can find almost every fruit that I can think of at the store. They are obviously not local, but I’m having a hard time staying away from them. And plums have a sweet spot in my heart (check this post, where I explain it in more detail), so I couldn’t help but get some. I was thinking of a disc of pie dough that I had in my freezer, and could almost smell the pie. That’s the advantage of making pie dough in larger quantities, that I can make a pie or tart almost anytime I fancy one, without much planning ahead. The plum and blackberry crumble pie I’m sharing today was heavenly!
This hasn’t been an easy week for me. Have you ever had that feeling when no matter what you do, your mind can’t get away from a thought, something that happened, or something that is going to happen, that makes you anxious or restless? That was it for me this week, and the feeling still hasn’t gone away, and I don’t think it will for a while. So I keep cooking, and photographing, and writing, hoping that amidst all of these activities I’ll distract myself from the thought. Spring is here, and with it spring break, which my children are awaiting anxiously. This week is jampacked with exams for some of them, which in hindsight, it’s a good thing, for they won’t have the exams after spring break. It will be a whole week of rest and recreation for them, and I’m hoping that my mind will find that same rest and recreation.
So my post this week couldn’t be anything else than something sweet, and warm, and comforting, and familiar, like a fuzzy blanket —a pie, with plums, a plum and blackberry crumble pie. Now I just need a cup of hot tea.
As a side note, the photos on this post were taken with my iphone6, so I need to apologize ahead of time if their quality is not what you’ve come to expect. My camera lens is in the repair shop, and I’m hoping I will get it back soon. However, I didn’t think that was excuse enough to not post, so here you have it. I hope the lens will be fixed very soon and I’ll go back to giving you the most crisp photos that I’m able to —you are here, at “my house”, and you deserve it!
PLUM AND BLACKBERRY CRUMBLE PIE
Tarta de Ciruelas y Moras
For the crust:
2 cups flour
8 Tbs butter, diced and chilled
6 to 8 Tbs ice cold water
1/2 tsp salt
For the crumble:
6 Tbs brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
For the filling:
2 cups blackberries
1 large egg
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup + 1 Tbs flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 375ºF
Make the crust:
In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. Add the butter. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until it becomes crumbly. Make a well in the center and add 3 or 4 tablespoons of ice water. Incorporate with your fingertips until a dough forms (keep adding more water as needed for a dough that holds together). Divide the dough in half and shape into 1-inch thick discs. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (if you like a thicker crust, or if using a larger pie plate, you don’t need to divide the dough).
On a lightly floured work surface, gently roll out one of the disks of dough into a circle about 1/8-inch thick and about 1 1/2 inch wider than the diameter of the pie dish (if you used all the dough, your circle will be thicker). Ease the dough round into a ceramic pie dish. Trim the overhang dough with a small knife or with your fingers and, using your fingers, shape the edge to conform to the dish. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for about 30 minutes.
Make the crumble topping:
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, brown sugar, salt and lemon zest to blend. Add the melted butter and vanilla and stir until moist and crumbly. Set aside.
Make the filling:
In a medium bowl, beat the egg. Add the cream and vanilla and stir together. Add 1 Tbs flour and whisk to blend.
Half the plums, pit them, and slice them into very thin slices. Place them in a large bowl and add the washed and dried blackberries. Sprinkle 1/3 cup flour and 1/4 cup granulated sugar and gently fold in the fruit to coat.
Remove the pie plate from the freezer and pour the fruit mixture over the dough. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the fruit. Using your fingers, spread the crumble topping over the fruit. Bake until the topping is golden brown, 55-60 minutes (check after 40 minutes or so, and cover the edges of the crust with strips of foil if they start to brown, to avoid burning them).
Let stand for 1 hour before slicing. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.