For cookie dough crust:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
16 Italian plums (see notes for substitutes)
2/3 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons butter
As you can see, sixteen Italian plums is actually not a large amount. This is less than one pound!
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Make crust: In bowl combine flour and sugar for crust. Add softened butter and with spoon (or hands) cream together.
3. Add egg and vanilla. Mix with spoon.
4. Spread dough in 9 inch pie plate, and refrigerate as you prepare plums. (This is sticky and difficult to make even in the pie plate. I smoothed out the dough in the pie plate after it had been in the refrigerator and was more manageable.)
5. Wash plums. Remove pits and slice.
6. Combine flour and sugar for filling in small bowl.
7. Smooth out pie dough in pie plate, if necessary. Layer plums in pie plate and sprinkle flour mix in between and on top of layers (there will only be two layers of plums).
8. Cut the butter into little cubes and dot over top of pie.
9. Place pie on large cookie sheet and cover with lid.
10. Bake covered for 30 minutes.
11. Remove lid and bake for additional 5-10 minutes to slightly brown top of pie.
12. Let cool for 2 hours.
This is an easy, rustic pie that tastes fabulous! If you can't find Italian plums, red plums will work. In fact, Grandma used to make this with red plums because it wasn't easy finding Italian plums in Farmington, New Mexico back in the early eighties or in Oklahoma City in the 90s. However, I learned the hard way that if you use red plums, you need only about 4 or 5 plums, enough to give you about 2 cups of slices. The filling in this is not very thick, so adding too many plums results in an overly runny pie.
Confession: I made this pie twice with red plums, finally found Italian plums, and made this a third time this week. And the third time I overly browned the top! Thankfully the pie still tasted fantastic, but take it as a warning to watch the pie as you brown it!
Having had the two different plums side by side, this is how they compare: Red plums are sweeter and brighter in flavor. Italian plums have a deeper, rich taste, and are slightly more tart. Italian plums also keep their firmness more than the red plums.
I served this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can also use whipped cream. Another old fashioned way of serving this which Grandma used to do, especially if you can't wait the full two hours for it to cool, is to put it in a bowl and pour some whipping cream (unwhipped) on top--pure comfort!
©2014 Emily Woodham