I've been out-of-town for a bit, working long hours, living out of a hotel, and unable to bake. But on the rainy Saturday before I left, I went on a baking frenzy for an upcoming project. I'll keep you posted when it comes out, but since I'm writing it for someone else and not just for this blog, I had to plan to use fruits that are available both now (so I can bake with them) and into late summer. Here in DC and in more Southern regions at least, plum season lasts into September, I picked up some plums--the tartest variety (though I am now blanking on the name)-- at the Mt. Pleasant Farmers' Market.
I came across this recipe from Dessert First via Pinterest, but didn't really want to do a classic tart, and since I'd already made some standard pies for this upcoming piece, I opted for a galette style where the crust is more roughly cut and folded over the filling. Those edges, where the fruit is encased by crust on two sides, make for the best bites of the whole thing, and the real reason for a galette, in my book. Since the custard is rather sweet, you'll want to chose the tartest plums you can. Though the original recipe calls for 2 tsp. of orange flower water, I would scale it back to 1 tsp. unless you're into very floral flavors. All together this is a rather easy recipe that really showcases the beauty of the plum in both taste and sight, without need for any additional accompaniment (though it did go quite well with an afternoon cup of coffee).
Adapted from Dessert First
Nothing-in-the-House pie crust, halved (save extra egg for the crust egg wash)
1/2 c. (4 oz.) crème fraîche
1 egg yolk
2 Tblsp. light brown sugar
1 tsp. orange flower water (the original recipe called for 2 tsp., but I found it a little too floral for my taste. Feel free to adjust according to yours)
2 lbs. (approximately) plums or pluots, pitted and halved
2 Tblsp. Turbinado sugar
1. Prepare half of the Nothing-in-the-House pie crust as per the directions. Once chilled, roll out into an 11-inch circle and place in a greased and floured 9-inch pie pan. Do not flute crust. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place pie pan in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
2. In a medium bowl, combine crème fraîche, egg yolk, brown sugar, and orange flower water, using a whisk. Pour into the pie
3. If you haven't done so already, halve and pit plums (leave the skins on). Arrange them in concentric circles over the custard filling. Decoratively fold pie crust over the plums. Brush an egg wash over the crust and sprinkle it and the plums with Turbinado sugar.
4. Bake approximately 40 minutes until crust is golden brown, custard has set and plums are juicy. Let cool. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
We enjoyed our slices at my friend Lars' poultry operation, Green Gate Farm out in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. More about our trip out there via Virginia wine country coming soon, probably in the form of a Green Gate Farm chicken pot pie post...