Do you ever wonder what happened to good old-fashioned pie? Do you occasionally crave it, then find the slice that sits in front of you to be woefully inadequate? What happened to that thick slice of pie chock full of fresh fruit with a richly flavored, not-too-dry yet flaky crust? I sometimes dream of that pie, but so often forget it can’t be found in a bakery. We can all find lots of mediocre pie at chain restaurants and grocery stores but if you want to find the real thing, you might be looking forever. Perhaps some nice old Finish lady in Northern Minnesota could hook you up, but if you’re looking in a store or pastry shop, you’re probably out of luck. I feel bad for kids these days because I don’t think they’ll ever know what pie really is. There is just something about old-fashioned pie that can’t be replicated in the bakery kitchen.
Having grown up with a nice old Finish lady to show me the ropes, there are a few things I know. First, butter is a must. I am a practicing vegan except when it comes to pie – no margarine allowed. The dough has to be cold, cold, cold so leave it in the fridge for a good long rest before you roll it. And finally, don’t roll your crust too thin. It’s just a beautiful thing to eat a slice of pie from tip to crust – to end with a generous chunk of flaky dough lightly kissed with caramelized fruit juices and sugar. Mmm mmm!
I know that one problem with pie is that it seems too difficult. So many of us just don’t have the time anymore, so I made a galette instead of pie. Galette is a fairly easy alternative allowing for free form rather than fussing with a pie pan and crimping edges. Fortunately, with a galette, we still get that old-fashioned sense of the pie!
Crust: For a really clear and easy-to-follow recipe, see Elise’s directions at Simply Recipes.
- 6 red plums
- 2 Tbs. flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1 beaten egg
- turbinado sugar
- Preheat oven 350 degrees.
- Cut the plums either into small chunks or thin slices. Place them in a mixing bowl.
- Add flour, sugar, nutmeg and lemon juice and mix.
- Roll out the pie crust to about 1/8 inch and place on parchment covered cookie sheet.
- pour plum mixture into center of pie crust. Push all the plums together into a tidy flat circle.
- Fold the pie crust up over the plums crimping the dough where it doubles over itself.
- Brush the dough with the egg wash and then sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Bake for about 50 minutes until the dough is browned.