Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Plum Crumble Pie (yes, I'm still here)

Maybe it's the British tradition of Rain In July. Maybe it's spending the last 3 months on a diet (albeit the kind of diet that includes pizza, Tyrrells crisps and tempranillo* and you still lose 3 stone**). Maybe it's watching Pushing Daisies that is giving me the urge to make pie.
So, since plums are cheap at the moment, and TV executives will always cancel the good TV shows in favour of the lousy-but-cheap,*** here is a recipe for

Plum Crumble Pie.

The play-doh pastry for this pie is made with a bit of polenta, which gives it a bit of crunchiness. Om nom nom!

115g/4oz/1 cup plain (or all purpose) flour
115g/4oz/1 cup wholemeal flour
150g/5oz/3/4 cup demerara or muscovado sugar (or golden caster sugar. White sugar will work, but it won't have that toffee-fudge flavour, or crunchy texture. Being a tree-hugging, yoghurt-eating no-good beatnik, I use Fairtrade demerara)
115g/4oz/1 cup polenta (cornmeal, not to be confused with cornflour, is made from dried ground corn)
150g/5oz butter
1 egg, whisked
1 tbs/15ml olive oil
1 tsp/5ml baking powder

25g/1oz/1/4 cup rolled oats
2 tsp demerara sugar
450g/1lb plums

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/G4. Mix together the flours, sugar (reserving 1 tbs sugar & 1 tbs polenta for the next stage), polenta & baking powder in a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the egg & olive oil & enough cold water to form a smooth dough. This dough isn't the kind of dough that you can roll out, it's soft & clay-like. Take about one third of the dough, wrap it up in clingfilm & put it in the fridge to chill. That will, with a bit of jiggery-pokery, become the topping. Grease a 23cm/9" spring-form cake tin.
Take the rest of the dough and pull off little pieces & press evenly over the base & sides of the cake tin. You'll need to make it quite thick, about 1cm deep will do. Sprinkle the reserved polenta & sugar onto the base.

Halve the plums & remove the stones, then arrange cut side down on the pastry base. Take the saved one third of dough out of the fridge and crumble between your fingers into a bowl. Add the oats & mix it up with your fingers. Scatter over the plums and top with the sugar.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until the topping is golden. Leave to stand for 10 to 15 minutes before attempting to separate pie from tin to give the pastry a chance to firm up (it's a bit fragile when hot). There are probably loose bits of pastry rubble that you can pick off the top while you wait. Gnom.

Serve with ice cream, cream, custard, a cup of tea or sneakily out of the tin while no one is looking.

Om Nom Nom

*I can resist many forms of temptation, but never a bottle of wine with Don Quixote on the label.
**There will no doubt be a rant in the future about fad diets & Not Being An Idiot. But basically if you want to lose weight, drink more water & get your arse off the sofa.
***Damn you to hell and back again!