For whatever reason, I have been purchasing a lot of fruit from Costco. Of all places, Costco. My wife and daughter have been plowing down fruit like it is going to be the end of the world. It seems as though every couple of days I am back at Costco buying large quantities of strawberries, blueberries, and Filipino mangoes. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind going and reloading fresh fruit (I’d rather be doing that than reloading chips), cleaning everything, and repeating. While at Costco I tend to browse slightly longer than I normally would, and I am lucky I did as I came across a large container of plums. I’m typically not an impulse shopper so I sat there and thought who would eat all of these plums if I were to purchase them? I immediately default to my daughter, but I knew that if biting into one of those plums and if it would not delight her, pretty instantly, that I would be sitting on 20 plums. I took a chance.
I bought the plums.
That’s when it all came together for me. If the plum tasting failed, I knew that I could at least create a pie and enter it into our annual pie contest which was only days away. I had some testing to be done, and the excitement built. That’s when I took some of my pie baking skills and put them to the test with this plum pie.
This pie is way too easy to make. It uses only some basic pantry ingredients, and use your favorite frozen pie crust. I knew I would probably not win as I think it takes many pies to perfect (hopefully) a great crust. I decided to use store bought pie crust from Trader Joe’s, which I highly recommend.
Let’s get started.
- 1 frozen pie crust (I used Trader Joe’s along with a pie pan)
- 9 plums, sliced to your liking (~ 2lbs)
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
Ingredients for the Crumble:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, very cold, sliced
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Get a couple of bowls ready. One for the fruit, and one for the crumble.
To the fruit bowl, add in the sliced plums. I cut my plums somewhat randomly. You do what you feel, but think of those eating your pie. Do you want massive chunks of plums, or random bite sized slices? You decide. The skins remain on, and just cut around the pit.
To the fruit add the lemon juice and give that a good stir. To the crumble bowl (we will use it for the crumble in a few minutes), mix the dry ingredients for the fruit bowl. So the flour, cinnamon, salt, cornstarch, and nutmeg go in. Whisk it around to incorporate all of those dry ingredients. Now pour that over the fruit and give it a good stir and let it marinate in that mixture. Just make sure there are no clumps of dry ingredients hanging on the fruit.
To that crumble bowl add in all of the dry ingredients and whisk as well. Take the butter and cut that into the dry mix. You want that cold butter so that the dry mixture can hold onto that butter. Mix it until you have some nice crumbs.
Pour the fruit into the pie shell. I place mine on a baking sheet in case it cooks over. Less mess is good.
Pour the crumble mixture all over the top of the pie, and arrange accordingly if you are into that type of thing.
Place into the oven and cook for 50 minutes. If your oven runs hot, just check on it around 40 minutes. It should look like a delicious pie. You know what to do. You got this.
Once cooked, remove it from the oven and let it cool for at least an hour. The great thing about this pie is you can enjoy it warm, or cold. What’s not to love about that.
After it cools, slice and serve with vanilla ice cream because, hey, why not?
Dig into the slice and you get that crumble. Good Lord that crumble. Give me a pie shell full of crumble alone and I’m happy. But the crumb paired with that thickened, delicious tart plum with the sweetness of the sugar. BOOM. That’s what you feel. That was it for me. I saw that feeling occur with my wife’s first bite (and last), as well as my daughter’s bite. I knew this may win a contest.
So I entered the contest knowing that I would not win. I knew what I was up against. I’ve entered in the past and knew there were some serious folks who were into the pie. You know the type. The Harley Davidson hard looking dude who brings in second for his Apple Cheddar pie, right? That type of contest (which I totally love). As we sat in front row at the contest I noticed the judges were getting up and looking at the pies. I’m a total newb/amateur at this stuff, so here is me with my pie on the table with the lid still on (and taped shut!), so I had to rush up there to remove the cover. The sight alone of that pie still looked great so I knew I was still fine.
Second thing I noticed is that I did not label my pie as others around me had labeled their pies in the fruit category as ‘Strawberry’ or ‘Peach Something or Another”, but me? No label. I realized this did not matter at the end or during judging as they really flew in blind on the fruit category. My wife had noticed the judges sampling my pie. I was number 12 by the way so these judges had to have been pied out by now. Not in my favor, but my wife said they were licking their forks really well (LOL) and Ms. New Berlin’s eyebrows raised in delight. I sat there thinking this could be my year. The names were announced. I did not place. I was fine.
Did my daughter like the plums? Not sure! I beat her to the punch and made the pie before she got to them. Did she like the plum pie? She loved it! And I loved watching her eat it. That was winning for me, and that was my award and I’ll take that any time I can.
Make this award winning pie when the time is right. I know it is in my arsenal of pies from here on out. I hope you enjoy!