Recipe

Spiced plum pie

Bright purple fruit oozes from this spiced plum pie, making it almost too beautiful to eat. But once you take one bite, you won't look back - it's simply divine. Enjoy for a showstopping dessert with friends and family.

By Sophie Gray
  • 1 hr 10 mins preparation plus chilling
  • 50 mins cooking
  • Serves 10
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Ingredients

  • 1 kg dark-fleshed plums
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tbsp semolina
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar, optional
Pastry
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 220 g butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 tsp white vinegar

Method

  • 1
    Halve plums, remove stones and place in a saucepan with the lid on. Heat gently to a simmer and simmer for 3 minutes. Pour off any excess liquid, then stir in brown sugar, cornflour, cinnamon, and zest; set aside to cool completely. Filling can be frozen at this point for future use. Make the pastry (see below).
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 200°C. Dust a 23cm pie plate with flour. On a floured bench, roll one pastry disc out to line the pie dish, leaving a 1½ cm overhang all the way around. Scatter the semolina in the bottom; place on a baking tray.
  • 3
    When filling is cold, pour into the prepared tin. Roll remaining pastry out to a sheet large enough to cover the pie with a small overhang. Cut decorative shapes out to allow steam to release. Gently lay over the top. Fold pastry overhang up over the edge of pie, forming a deep rim on the edge of pie dish. Crimp with your fingers or a fork. Brush pastry with egg white and sprinkle with sugar, if using.
  • 4
    Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 190°C and continue cooking a further 40 minutes or until golden. Serve warm or cold.
Pastry
  • 5
    Stir together flour, sugar and salt. Using a knife, pastry blender or processor, cut in butter until pieces are pea sized. Add water and vinegar and mix lightly, then turn onto bench. Mixture will be crumbly. Don't knead; use a lifting and folding-over motion to gather the crumbs; fold, press and repeat, folding and pressing until dough forms – about 2 minutes. Roll into a log, divide in 2, flatten each half into a disc, wrap, and chill for an hour.

Notes

Use dark-fleshed plums in this recipe for the most visually attractive result. The pastry will seem very crumbly, but the warmth of your hands pressing the mixture together will soften the butter, laminating it in layers so the end result is a nicely textured pie crust.