Life is wonderful. I think we forget that. All the time. But when you open your eyes, its all around you. And summer is a time for more joy than normal. The last couple of days have been brilliant in terms of the weather. Sure its humid but its so wonderfully warm and I can’t get enough of it. The backyard is full of spiders desperately spinning away, making their temporary homes before someone comes and disrupts their solace, the flowers are bursting out of every nook and cranny and when the warm wind kisses my skin, I can’t not be happy.
This weekend my baby girl requested some cakes for a barbecue she was invited to for her hockey team. Well! I live for moments like that. I was beaming with joy of course. More happiness. I set off on my bike early Saturday morning to go to the farmers market to get some inspiration and before a ton of people arrived. Not a morning person at all, I was proud when I hit the market as early as 9 am! The market was peaceful as I’ve never seen it. No jostling, no screaming and the sellers happy to serve you. I think I know where I am going to be early Saturday mornings from now on. 🙂
The fruit and the variety available was unbelievable. I saw 3 different varieties of plums. I’d never seen them before and had to have them. Then came the strawberries and the blackberries and the raspberries and it just kept coming. I came back with bag fulls of fruit I didn’t know what to do with.
So, here is what I decided to make after some hours of brainstorming with myself! A chocolate cake. Where there are kids there has to be a chocolate cake, don’t you think? (I will share the recipe for this later) and of course with all that fruit, it had to be a fruit pie. Two sort in fact.
Plum Pie with Saunth/Ginger and Rosemary Butter
- For the Crust
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus flour for dusting
- 3 tbsps sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 225 grams unsalted butter, cold and cut in cubes
- 6 to 8 tbsps ice water
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- For the Filling
- 1 kilo plums, peeled and cut into ½ inch-thick slices (I used three varieties but you could go with whatever is available)
- 2 tbsps unsalted butter
- 3-4 sprigs of rosemary
- ½ cup sugar + 1 tbsp for sprinkling
- 3 tbsps plain flour
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1½ tbsps saunth or ginger powder
- ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
- To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar, and sea salt in a large mixing bowl. Gently mix in the butter into the flour with your fingertips. Work the flour till it resembles bread crumbs and then gradually drizzle in ice water, folding with your fingers, one tablespoon at a time. Add just enough water to hold the dough together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a mound. Divide into 2 discs and wrap each with plastic wrap. Chill dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- For the rosemary butter, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the sprigs of rosemary and and turn the heat to low. Steep for 20 minutes. Remove sprigs and set butter aside.
- Position oven rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 425°F/220° C.
- Butter and flour a 9-inch pie dish. On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the discs of dough into a 14-inch circle. Roll dough onto your pin and unfold into the prepared pie dish. Press dough into sides and bottom, and trim all but 1-inch of the overhanging dough. Set pie dish in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the rest of the pie.
- Prepare the filling by combining peaches, sugar, flour, lemon zest and juice, ginger powder, cinnamon and sea salt. Set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the second disc of dough into a rough 10- by 15-inch rectangle. Use a pastry cutter or sharp paring knife to cut six 2-inch strips.
- Spoon the filling into the chilled pie shell and drizzle with the rosemary butter. Lay 3 dough strips parallel across the pie. Weave in the remaining 3 in the other direction. Trim any excess dough, fold the bottom crust up around the edge, and crimp as you wish. I used a fork. Brush top of crust with the egg and sprinkle with one tablespoon of sugar.
- Set the pie on a baking sheet and slide into oven. Bake pie for 15 minutes. Rotate pan, turn heat down to 350°F/175°C, and bake for another 35 to 45 minutes, or until pie is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. (If edges browns too quickly, tent with foil.)
- Allow pie to cool completely, 3 hours or more.
Mixed Berry Tartlets
(makes 6-8 mini tartlets)
- For the Crust
- Same as the plum pie. You can do a lattice top for these too or any pattern you like.
- For the Filling
- Same as the plum pie. Use around 50 grams each of berries of choice. Omit the ginger powder and cinnamon and the rosemary butter.
- The preparation for the mini pies is the same as the plum cake. Except that these are smaller tartlets. Let them sit in the oven for around 10 minutes before reducing the temperature and then bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the crust is beautifully brown and the fruit is bubbling.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream or eat just because you need a pie piece or a tart to start or finish your day!
- Enjoy... <3