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#33.0 and 33.1 : Plum Ginger Pie

"Another disappointment...."

It has been a while since I wrote, I know....sorry, but I was busy trying to line up the musical Paint Your Wagon, which I was going to direct and also star in, this fall. We ran into lots of difficulties including a venue, and then were unable to cast the show despite several rounds of auditions, so it was canceled. This was very disappointing, and I should have drowned my sorrows in baking and eating pies, and writing about them, but somehow got busy...and stayed busy. I have been baking and eating pies, of course, just not writing about them. So I have several pies to catch up on and will try to get through writing them all up.

July/August was plum season so I decided to make a Plum-Ginger Pie. Again, the great America's Test Kitchen Best Pies book made a mistake? This recipe sounded terrific and I was interested in the crust which substitutes whole grain for some of the flour. What could go wrong? Apparently...everything! The ratio was off, just as it was when I made the sour cherry pie with hazelnut flour dough. Disappointing!

The "foolproof" pie dough calls for a cup of whole wheat flour in place of a cup of flour. I didn't like the texture of the dough or the taste (we rarely use whole wheat flour so maybe it wasn't the freshest?) And it lacked the crispness I like. So, as I've gone wrong twice now using the ATK pie dough alternatives, I'll choose to rely on my usual pie dough in the future.

The fault was not in the plums, which I found at the nearby Country View farm stand. I rarely go there as their "local" produce seems terribly suspect (they have peaches and blackberries in June and strawberries in September...local, really?) But they are the only local place that sells several different types of plums and labels them by varietal, and also according to inner flesh (yellow or red.) I always go for red flesh as I think those plums have more flavor, and I'm happy to find elephant heart plums mid-summer at Country View. Are they really local? I doubt it; this article seems to say that they are from California growers...but they taste great and make a wonderful pie.

As the plum pie filling was great and the crust was...less so, I ended up scooping out most of the pie filling and eating it on its own, or on top of homemade granola with yogurt. That made an excellent breakfast. Later on I made the pie yet again with my normal pie dough, and this time it was excellent. Lesson learned; I'll be making this pie again in the future and will be avoiding the ATK pie crusts that replace some of the flour.

As you can see the elephant heart plum has a deep lush red flesh!

The Verdict: Good the second time around.

There may be some way to figure out the proper balance of butter and whole wheat flour or nuts to make a more pliable dough, but so far we haven't been wild about the texture or taste. So, again, maybe it's just best to pretend this one didn't happen, and move on.

I'll continue to catch up on pies made and get back up to the present. Expect another pie sooner this time.

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