Whole Plum Pies
Pie Crust (recipe below)
6 medium sized ripe plums, rinsed
6 Tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
6 teaspoons brown sugar
milk or egg wash
sliced almonds or turbinado sugar for topping the pies
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove one disk of pie crust from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured work surface until the crust is about 1/8" thick. Use a large circle cutter or flip a bowl over and use a knife to trace around the rim to cut circles of dough that measure about 6" in diameter. Collect any scraps, re-roll and cut until you have six circles.
2. Slice each plum in half and carefully cut out and discard the pit. You'll be left with a well in the center of the plum half where the pit was. Place a few cubes of butter and a teaspoon of sugar into the well of one half, then place the remaining plum half on top so the plum is whole again.
3. Wrap the whole plum inside a dough circle and place into a heavily greased muffin tin. Repeat until all six plums are wrapped and in the tin. Brush the tops with milk or an egg wash and sprinkle the almonds or turbinado sugar on top. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown and the plum is soft. Cool pies before removing from the tin and eating.
Flaky Butter Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks very cold unsalted butter, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 cup ice water
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Use a pastry blender or a large fork to cut the butter cubes into the flour, working quickly and incorporating all of the flour mixture until the butter pieces are the size of tiny peas. Make sure you don't over-work the butter. Visible chunks of butter = better tasting crust!
2. Slowly drizzle the ice water into the flour mixture and stir until the dough just begins to pull together. (You might not use all of the water.) Pull dough together into a ball. Divide the dough in half and place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Form the dough into a disk and chill in the fridge for at least one hour. You'll probably only need one disk for this recipe, so keep the other disk chilled for another day.