We'll never say no to a peach or apple pie, but this recipe is all about the mighty plum. It's a fruit that spans from late summer into fall, so it’s the perfect pie to bridge seasons. Tart with a floral sweetness, the flavor of Santa Rosa plums plays perfectly with dried lavender, which we've included in this recipe. By macerating the fruit in sugar and cornstarch, juice collects and thickens before getting mixed into the filling for a thick, custardy texture.
Making a lattice crust is a race against the clock. You want to make sure your dough is pliable enough to roll out thinly and cut strips without any breaks or cracks, but not too soft, which can get messy when assembling. The trick is to feel the dough. It should be firm but pliable. If it is getting too soft, pop it back in the fridge for 10 minutes before continuing.
To learn more, read “Pie and Mighty.”
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: One 9-inch pie
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus macerating and cooling time
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes, plus macerating and cooling time
2 teaspoons dried lavender flowers
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2½ pounds (8 medium) Santa Rosa plums, pitted and cut into ½-inch wedges
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup prunes, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 flaky piecrust (recipe here)
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
1. In a mortar and pestle, grind together the lavender flowers and salt into a fine powder. Transfer to a large bowl with the plums, sugar, cornstarch, prunes, lemon juice and zest. Toss to coat and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 350º. Strain the plums of any liquid that has accumulated and transfer the liquid to a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid has thickened 2 to 3 minutes. Then add it back to the bowl with the plums and toss to incorporate.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disk of the pie dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie tin pressing to fit the tin, leaving at least 1 inch of overhang on the sides. Spoon the filling into the tin over the dough, spreading to make an even layer.
4. Roll out the other disk of pie dough into a 10-inch square. Using a knife or a fluted pastry cutter, cut eight 1-inch strips of dough. Place 4 strips horizontally across the plums, then pull alternating strips back and lay the additional strips perpendicular. Trim off the extra dough, then roll up the edge to make a rim around the dish. Using your fingers, crimp the edges of the pie.
5. Brush the dough liberally with the beaten egg, then sprinkle the turbinado sugar over top. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling has thickened, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before slicing and serving.