Monday, February 11, 2013

Baking: Plum and Blackberry Streusel Pie

I really think I make more pies than any other baked good. I just love them. Mainly because they're usually fruit driven but also because they don't always have to be sugary sweet. I've tried all different kinds in the past but this is my first plum and blackberry streusal. I haven't used plums in the past. Not sure really why I didn't. But I wanted to try new pies this year (and last year; this post is old). And I'm so glad I did. So many good pies came out of that experiment. And experiment that still continues.

As any pie recipes would go, the dough is the first thing you need to make. This pie only has one crust, the bottom, and so it's much smaller. I like to make the crust, roll into a ball, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Next, the streusel topping. It's a combination of oatmeal, sugar, butter, and salt. Leave in large chunks. Refrigerate as well.
And now the fresh fruit. I used black plums for this recipe though they're actually dark red/purple in color. Here I'm giving them a good wash since we'll be using both the flesh and skin.
I pitted the plums and sliced them into wedges. To that, I added the blackberries which are quite tart by the way. I learned to taste my fruit before making pies. I can adjust for sugar that way. I learned that the hard way last year. Sigh, my poor strawberry rhubarb.
To the fruit I added lemon zest, flour, and sugar.
I mixed it well and allowed it to macerate at room temperature while I went back to prep the dough.
I rolled out the dough on my silicone mat then transferred it into my glass pie plate. I prefer glass so that I can see the browning progress in the oven. Crimp the edges if you prefer. I certainly do!
Fill the crust with all the fruit and juices.
Then top it off with the streusel by crumbling the large pieces with you fingers.
Into the oven on a lined sheet pan (to catch any drips) for about 1.5 hours until the fruit is soft and the juices are bubbling away. Check to see if the crust is golden brown. Cover with foil if the edges are browning faster than the crust on the bottom. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Let it cool completely so it can set. Otherwise, you'll have a very runny pie. It takes a few hours to cool. I like to leave it out overnight.
The pie came out pretty well. I thought the flavor was pretty balanced with the sweetness of the fruit plus the extra lemon zest I added. The filling however, was a little too loose for my liking. I need to add more tapioca flour next time. Normally, I use all purpose flour but I'm experimenting. Otherwise, I really enjoyed this pie and would definitely make it again.

My recipe below is adapted from epicurious.com's recipe for Plum-Blackberry Streusel Pie

Plum and Blackberry Streusel Pie
Ingredients
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
3/8 teaspoon salt
1 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
Iice water

1 3/4 pound ripe plums, pitted and sliced into thin wedges
3/4 pound blackberries, washed
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
6 tbsp tapioca flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp grated lemon zest
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

Directions
Preheat oven to 375oF. Line baking sheet with foil.
1. Mix first 3 ingredients in a bowl. Cut cold butter into dry ingredients until small pea sized pieces form. If mixture seems dry, add ice water one tablespoon at a time. Roll into ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.
2. Stir together oats, flour, and 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips until mixture forms small clumps. Cover and refrigerate.
3. Toss sliced plums and blackberries with 1 cup sugar, tapioca, cornstarch, zest, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Allow to macerate at room temperature.
4. Roll out dough into a circle on a lightly floured surface (or on a silicone mat) with a lightly floured rolling pin. Fit into pie plate. Trim excess dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold overhang under and press against rim of pie plate, then crimp decoratively. Mound filling in shell. Crumble streusel evenly over filling.
5. Bake pie until streusel is golden and filling is bubbling, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Cool completely, 3 to 4 hours.

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