Blueberry & Golden Plum Pie + A Giveaway!

blueberry-plum-pieThis post is in partnership with MightyNest, the online retailer with a positive mission: providing the natural, organic, and non-toxic products that families seek for their homes while also giving back to schools. MightyNest is sponsoring the giveaway and provided a set of the materials to me for use in this post.

This recipe started out as a cherry pie. An open-faced, glazed cherry pie, in fact. To which I added some lovely little golden plums of the I-can’t-resist variety at the farmer’s market. I pre-baked my favorite pastry dough of late, a half & half rye and whole wheat pastry flour version, in my spanky new Anchor Hocking glass pie plate, glazed my fresh fruit with a red current jelly and all looked gorgeous & perfect. Until I sliced it, that is: at that point, “gorgeous & perfect” became “crazy, syrupy mess.” The pie didn’t set at all, and while very tasty, was definitely not ready for its closeup.

But you see, the good folks at MightyNest had sent me this lovely glass deep dish pie plate. And I wanted to return the favor by making a pie and blogging about it. And then we decided to add to the bounty and make it an official Giveaway. So the pressure, as they say, was on.

blueberry-plum-pieTake 2 of the MightyNest Pie Giveaway Project was a nectarine pie. With fresh ginger, maybe, or some dried chile. But definitely nectarine: a big, fat, deep-dish, nectarine-stuffed, mile-high, summertime nectarine pie. Until I started to pit & slice the 4 lbs of glorious nectarines I’d scored at the farmer’s market. Or I should say: attempted to pit & slice. I’ve honestly never come across clingier clingstone fruit in my life. After mangling three of the nectarines, I asked Pastry Chef husband for help. “Sure!” he said. Then: “Wow.” Then: “These are ridiculous.” Then, when I told him, “Never mind. I give up. Plan C.” he said, “Good idea.”

Take 3: wild Maine blueberries from the freezer. (Which needed using up anyway as blueberry season is upon us once again!). A few of those same lovely golden plums, now nicely ripe and starting to pink up. And: chile. Because: reasons. Chile is my good luck charm. Surely, if anything could save this pietastrophe, chile could.

And lo and behold: chile did the trick. Or the third time’s a charm. Or whatever. This pie worked, and worked beautifully. Nicely spicy, tartly fruity, deep blue-purple color, and a bottom crust that, if not exactly flaky, at least managed to stay crisp, no mean feat for a blueberry pie. And slices that didn’t run! (Much.) Hallelujah! It’s a pie miracle.

blueberry-plum-pieIn celebration of the Pie Miracle of Summer 2015: a giveaway!

GIVEAWAY RULES

This giveaway includes:

To enter to win a full set of the pie-related goodies outlined above, simply click on the picture below (or follow this link) and enter via Facebook or your email address for a total of 5 possible entries. MightyNest will provide the winner with a free set of the goods you see below, a $100 value.

giveawayGiveaway closes on August 21, 2015. The winner will be contacted for a shipping address prior to any shipment of prizes. US residents only, please (sorry, rest of the world!). Good luck!

Pastry dough adapted from Yossy’s Cherry Pie at Forty-Sixth At Grace via Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain. Filling adapted from Fresh Blueberry Pie in The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

blueberry-plum-pieBlueberry & Golden Plum Pie

INGREDIENTS

Pastry Dough

  • 6 oz (1 ⅓ cups) whole wheat pastry flour (or substitute all purpose flour)
  • 4 ½ oz (1 ⅓ cups) rye flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 8 oz cold unsalted butter, cut into ½’’ pieces
  • ½ – ⅔ cup ice water
  • 1 ½ tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 egg, separated, for wash

Filling

  • 1 ¼ lb wild blueberries (I used frozen)
  • ¾ lb small golden plums, halved, pitted, and sliced into 8 pieces each
  • Juice and zest of 1 small lemon
  • 1 cup sugar (organic evaporated cane juice), plus extra for sprinkling
  • large pinch flaky sea salt
  • ¾ tsp red chile flakes
  • ¼ cup cornstarch

blueberry-plum-pieblueberry-plum-pieMETHODS

  1. Make pastry dough. In a large bowl, mix the flours, salt and sugar together. Add  butter and rub it into the flour with your hands until the butter is in small pieces ranging from the size of peas to lima beans.
  2. Combine the water and apple cider vinegar in a measuring cup. Make a well in the flour/butter mixture and slowly stream ½ cup of ice-cold water into the dough while mixing gently with a wooden spatula or your hand. Mix until the water is evenly distributed and the dough holds together when you squeeze it. It may look dry; that’s fine as long as it holds together when you squeeze it. If it is too dry, add more water, one tablespoon at a time. Dump the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, gather the wrap tightly around the dough and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.
  3. After dough has chilled, unwrap and place onto a lightly floured board. Pat the dough into a rough square, then roll it into an 8” x 11” rectangle. The dough will be a bit rough and crumbly. Fold the dough rectangle into thirds, like a business letter. Then turn the dough so the seam is at the top; roll again to an 8” x 11” rectangle. Repeat this process 2 more times then divide the dough in half, double-wrap each piece in plastic, and chill for at least 2 hours, ideally overnight.
  4. Make filling. In a large bowl, combine blueberries, plums, lemon zest & juice, sugar and salt. Toss well to coat fruit in sugar and macerate for up to 1 hour. If using frozen fruit, you can thaw while macerating. Drain syrup into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat: allow to boil, swirling gently, until liquid is reduced by at least half and becomes thick and syrupy. Sprinkle drained fruit with cornstarch: toss until cornstarch disappears. Pour syrup over fruit and mix well.
  5. Assemble pie. Remove one half of pie dough from fridge to warm. When you can press on the disc of dough without the edges cracking, it is warm enough to roll. Roll into a roughly 12-inch circle, about ⅛-inch thick. Layer into a 9-inch pie pan. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you roll out the top crust.
  6. Remove second half of pie dough from fridge and allow to warm. Roll into a roughly 12-inch circle, ⅛-inch thick. To make a lattice top, transfer dough to a small cookie sheet and use a long, sharp knife or pizza roller to cut strips of dough, about 2 inches wide. Refrigerate strips for 10 minutes or so, as firm strips are easier to weave.
  7. Remove bottom pie crust layer from the fridge. Brush bottom lightly with beaten egg white. This helps to prevent a soggy bottom crust. Scrape filling into shell, tapping to spread evenly. Drape half of your lattice strips evenly over the filling, then fold every other strip back about halfway. Lay on the first perpendicular strip, replace the folded back strips, then fold back the other parallel strips, lay another perpendicular strip, etc., until all strips are placed and woven together. Trim the edges of the top and bottom crusts to about ½-inch wider than the pie pan, then crimp together, decoratively if you wish. Refrigerate, lightly covered, for 1 hour to chill and relax dough (or freeze for 30 minutes).
  8. Bake. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (400 degrees F convection). Place a rimmed cookie sheet on the lowest oven rack to preheat. Lightly brush top crust with beaten egg, then sprinkle generously with sugar. Place on preheated cookie sheet: bake at 425 degrees F until filling is thickly bubbling and crust is a deep golden brown, about 45 – 60 minutes. Cover rim of crust, and/or reduce oven temp to 375 degrees F, if it starts to over-brown. Cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours, before serving.

Serves 8.

blueberry-plum-pieOPTIONS

  1. The ¾ tsp red chile flakes made for a nicely spicy filling; not overwhelming, but definitely there. Adjust amount to your liking.
  2. For a very wet pie like blueberry, it’s best to bake directly on top of a preheated baking stone, if you have one, using a piece of tinfoil or a thin cookie sheet to catch any drips. Preheat for at least an hour. The nice thing about a glass pie pan is that you can check the progress of the bottom crust while baking – if the bottom crust still looks wet when the top is nicely browned, cover the entire top of the pie loosely with tinfoil and continue baking directly on the baking stone, or at least the very bottom rack of the oven.
  3. If you do get a new wooden rolling pin, wash it well, then give it a good coating of olive or walnut oil before the first use. The new wood wants to suck up moisture, and as such will make rolling pastry dough frustrating unless you give it a little oil bath first.

STORE

At room temperature,  lightly covered, for up to 3 days.

SEASON

Summer.

Disclosure: MightyNest provided me a set of the giveaway materials free of charge for purposes of this post, and will provide and ship one set to the giveaway winner. No further compensation was provided by MightyNest for the production of this post, and opinions remain my own.

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