I don’t see plums in baked goods as often as I see apples, peaches, pears and other fruits. This is a shame because plums are amazing fruits to bake with. They’re sweet and flavorful, hold their shape nicely after they’ve been baked, and they turn such a beautiful color that desserts that use them are often simply stunning to look at. One of my favorite desserts, aside from the Fresh Plum Cake in The Baking Bites Cookbook, is a double crust Plum Pie packed with juicy plums.
This pie is another plum pie, but it is very different from that double crust pie. This is a Plum Custard Pie with Almond Crust. The pie starts out with a flaky crust that incorporates ground almonds to give it more flavor and some extra crispness. It is filled with a creamy, yet firm, custard flavored with vanilla and a touch of almond extract. The filling has the surprise ingredient of Greek-style yogurt, which helps give it an almost cheesecake-like texture. If you don’t have Greek yogurt, opt for sour cream, not a thinner yogurt. The pie is finished off with lots of sliced, fresh plums and a generous sprinkle of sliced almonds, which toast up in the oven and complement the pie crust.
The finished pie is beautiful to look at and delicious to eat. The plums go into the pie unpeeled, and when they bake they take on a gorgeous purple-red color. They are a nice sweet contrast to the filling, and everything is tied together with the almond topping and the nutty almond crust. This pie can be eaten as soon as it has cooled to room temperature, but the flavors develop even more after it has been chilled for a couple of hours, so it can be made in advance and brought out just before serving.
Plum Custard Pie with Almond Crust
dough for 9-inch pie (Almond Crust recipe below)
3 medium-large plums
1 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup greek-style yogurt (or sour cream)
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 tbsp flour
2 tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp chopped, sliced almonds
2 tbsp coarse sugar
Preheat oven to 400F.
Roll out chilled pie dough on a lightly floured surface until it is a large circle, exceeding the diameter of a 9-inch pie plate by about an inch on all sides. Gently transfer crust to pie plate, press down to form a tight fit and crimp excess crust off of the edges.
Slice plums (no need to peel them) into 6-8 slices and arrange in a spiral pattern over the bottom of the crust.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, yogurt, milk, eggs, flour, cornstarch, salt, vanilla and almond extracts until smooth. Pour over plum slices. Slices may float in the custard. Do not overfill the crust (some shallow pie plates may leave you with a few extra tablespoons of custard).
Bake pie for 30 minutes at 400F. Remove pie from oven and sprinkle evenly with chopped almonds and coarse sugar. Lower oven to 350F and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes, until filling is set and a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow pie to cool completely before slicing. Cooled pie can be stored in the refrigerator.
Makes 1 pie; serves 10.
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup ground almonds/almond meal
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces
4-6 tbsp water
Combine all ingredients, except water, in a large mixing bowl. Rub in butter with your fingertips, creating a sandy mixture where no pieces of butter are larger than a big pea. Add water in gradually, stirring mixture with a fork until it just comes together into a slightly dry ball. Knead gently so dough sticks together (dough should not be sticky) and wrap in plastic wrap.
Chill in the fridge for 1 hour before using, or freeze for 15 minutes.