After having made plum jam, and plum rum raisin dessert sauce I still had plums left over. I decided to make a plum pie, because, pie is always a good idea. In all things pie, I always consult Food that Really Schmecks by Edna Staebler. She was and still is considered an expert on Mennonite cooking in Ontario, and where there’s Mennonites, there’s pie. Yet the plum pie recipe on page 229 belongs to her sister “Norm.”
“Norm has a plum tree in her back yard too (she also has a cherry tree) and she makes the plum pies in the same way as she does her cherry pies but with a sprinkling of cinnamon added.”
I adjusted Norm’s recipe somewhat, it originally called for one cup of sugar, which as much as I have a sweet tooth, I knew that it would be too much sugar.
Norm’s Plum Pie
1 9″ unbaked pie shell, pastry for a top crust OR use a crumb topping (recipe follows)
6 cups, halved and pitted Italian prune plums
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. of soft butter
1/2 tsp. of cinnamon
Combine both sugars, the flour, and the cinnamon. Mix well, sprinkle one tbsp. of this mixture over the bottom of an unbaked 9″pie shell. Set aside. Combine the butter with the remaining flour sugar mixture, add the plums, stir well and pour into the pie shell. Top with a crust or sprinkle with a simple crumb top.
Bake at 400F for 10 minutes, lower the heat to 350 F. and bake until juices are bubbling and are thick, approx. 45 to 50 minutes. NOTE, Even after reducing the amount of sugar, I would reduce the sugar by a further 1/4 cup, either omit the white sugar, or reduce the brown. The plum flavour was intense and rich, but the pie was still a bit too sweet.
Simple Crumb Topping (Enough for one 9″pie)
In a medium bowl combine; 1/2 flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/8 (1 ounce) cold butter, 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract, cutting the butter in with a fork. Once mixed, sprinkle over the pie. The vanilla is delicious is this recipe, adding a slightly exotic note to the topping.