This delicious pie showcases seasonal apples with a touch of extra sweetness from plums. It is now the month of October and prime apple season here, as well as the very tail end of plum season. I like to use apples in as many ways as possible at this time of year, and making pies is one of my favorite ways. Apple pies are such an iconic part of celebrating fall. I have a few juicy plums lingering in my kitchen from the end of summer, so I added a cup of sliced plums to the apple pie filling, to jazz it up a little. It was a great combination, with the plums just adding a hint of a slightly different type of sweetness. Too many plums, and the crust may have gotten soggy, but this was just the right amount.
Pies symbolize so many different things to different people, but to me they symbolize celebration and comfort. There were (and still are) always pies around at big family gatherings, and lots of the women in my family were and are great pie-makers, from my grandma, my great aunt and my husband’s grandma, to my mother and aunt, who still make incredible pies.
Some people may think of making pies as old-fashioned, or overly domestic, but to me it is empowering to be able to make something that others love so much, and to be able to use fruit that grows so close to home, wrap it in a delicious pastry, and be able to nourish people in such a healthy, natural, and beautiful way. While cherry pie was my father’s favorite, and my mother, my brothers, my kids, and I like pretty much every kind of pie, apple pie is my husband’s all-time favorite. He loved the bit of plums in this pie as well.
Pie crust can be a bit of a challenge, but it is a worthy challenge. The recipe I am sharing below is one that works well for me. Although it turns out slightly different every time, and some crusts are prettier than others, it always tastes wonderful. I like to use unsalted butter from grass-fed cows for my pie crust. I also sometimes make it with canola oil, which is good too. If I use some whole wheat flour (which I like to do sometimes), the crust does not hold together as well, but it still tastes good. If I want the crust to look extra-pretty, I use unbleached all-purpose flour.
I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful fall weather, and the fruits and vegetables of fall too. This is such an incredible time of year! “Give me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling, give me juicy autumnal fruit ripe and red from the orchard.” ~Walt Whitman
Have a great weekend!
Apple Pie with a Hint of Plum
For the Filling
- 5 cups of apples, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 cup of plums, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
For the Pie Crust
- 2 cup of flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2/3 cup of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 6-7 tablespoons of cold water
Wash, peel, and slice the fruit, and place it in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, flour, and cinnamon, and stir to combine.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In another large mixing bowl, combine the flour and the salt. With a fork or pastry cutter, cut in the butter and combine, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs about the size of peas. Gradually add the cold water, one tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork to combine. Add water and toss with fork until all the dough is uniformly moistened. Divide the dough into two equal-sized balls. On a lightly floured surface (I often flour a large sheet of waxed paper on my counter and roll the dough out on it–the dough doesn’t stick to it as much), press one of the dough balls down with the palm of your hand. Then roll it into a circle, from the center to the edges, about 12 inches in diameter. Roll the dough onto a floured rolling pin and gently unroll it into a 9-inch pie baking plate. Try not to stretch the dough too much. If it tears, patch it with more dough. Then roll out the second ball of dough, the same way as the first one. Pour the fruit filling into the pie plate. Ease that second 12-inch circle of dough from the floured rolling pin to the top of the fruit filling. Gently fold the top crust under the bottom crust, all the way around the plate. Then flute the edges as best you can. Patch any tears with extra dough. With a fork, poke several tiny holes in the top of the crust to allow air to come through. Sprinkle with sugar if desired.
Cover the edges of the pie crust with foil, to avoid over-browning. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil, and then bake another 18-25 minutes, or until the crust is just golden and fruit is tender. Allow to cool before slicing. Enjoy!