Plum Cherry Pie in Checkerboard Pastry
makes one 9” x 1½” pie
For the Graham Pastry- (from Bernard Clayton, Jr.)
You can certainly use a classic pie pastry for the pie, but I like the slightly nutty flavor of the graham flour with the tartness of the plums and the sweet cherries. This makes enough for a double crust pie- you only need one disc of dough for the lattice; wrap and freeze the other disc for another time.
2½ cups graham flour (Bob’s Red Mill is available at Whole Foods and some supermarkets)
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
8 oz. (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ cup ice water, approximately (you will use less!)
Add the lemon juice to the ice water and place in the refrigerator. In a large bowl, whisk together the graham flour and salt. Using a bench scraper or your fingertips, cut the butter into the flour/salt. The mixture should resemble coarse crumbs. Retrieve the ice water/lemon juice from the fridge. Add a portion of the liquid 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing the mixture together with a fork. Add an additional tablespoon of liquid, tossing again, and if needed, 1 more tablespoon. Gather the pastry together into a ball and let it rest for 5 minutes; this gives the pastry a chance to absorb the liquid. After 5 minutes, if the pastry feels a bit crumbly you can add another teaspoon or two of liquid. Don’t add too much liquid- the graham flour takes time to absorb the liquid and you don’t want it to be too wet. Divide the pastry in half, shape each half into a disc and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate one disc of dough; you can freeze the second disc for another pie. Let the pastry rest in the refrigerator for at least one hour before rolling it out on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper. Roll the pastry into a rectangle about ¼” thick and use a knife or a pastry wheel to cut 1” strips. Cover the strips with plastic wrap and slide the parchment paper with the strips onto a baking sheet and refrigerate.
For the All-Butter Pastry- (this will be enough for the bottom crust and part of the lattice)
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
8 oz. (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup ice cold water (you will use less!)
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar. Using a bench scraper or your fingertips, cut the butter into the dry ingredients. The mixture should resemble coarse crumbs. Add the ice cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing the mixture with a fork until it barely holds together. Shape the pastry into two discs and wrap each disc in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the pastry for at least one hour before rolling out. On a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, roll out one disc of dough into a circle approximately 12” in diameter. Gently ease the dough into a 9” x 1½” deep pie plate. Turn the edges under and crimp decoratively. Set the pie plate in the freezer. Roll out the second disc of dough into a rectangle about 1/4" thick; use a knife or pastry wheel to cut 1” strips to form the lattice. Cover the lattice strips with plastic wrap and slide the parchment with the lattice onto a baking sheet and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
For the Plum and Cherry filling-
1½ pounds red plums, rinsed, halved, pits removed, cut into quarters (you should have 4 cups)
1 cup sweet red cherries, rinsed, stemmed and pitted
½ teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon orange juice
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
dash of cherry bitters
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons clover honey
pinch of salt
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ginger
3 tablespoons cornstarch (if the plums are excessively juicy, add an additional 1 teaspoon of cornstarch)
1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon cold water for the egg wash
sanding sugar for sprinkling
In a large bowl, place the plums, cherries, orange zest, orange juice, extracts, bitters and honey. In a medium bowl, whisk together the salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cornstarch. Add the spices and cornstarch to the fruit mixture, stirring with a rubber spatula to coat the fruit thoroughly. Retrieve the bottom crust from the freezer. Turn the fruit into the bottom crust. Retrieve the graham pastry lattice strips and the all-butter pastry lattice strips from the fridge. Weave a lattice over the fruit; (if you prefer, you can simply set all of the graham strips running horizontally across the fruit and place the all-butter strips running vertically to create a ‘faux’ lattice.) Seal the edges and crimp decoratively. Set the pie back in the fridge for about 15 minutes to firm up the crust. Cover the edges of the pie with strips of aluminum foil to prevent over browning. Place the pie on a parchment lined baking sheet, brush the lattice with the egg white wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 375 degrees F, move the baking sheet with the pie to the middle shelf of the oven and continue baking for an additional 35-40 minutes, or until the pie bubbles around the edges and in the middle. (If the pie begins to over brown after 30 minutes, cover the pie with a sheet of parchment paper.) Remove the pie to a cooling rack. Cool at least 4 hours before slicing. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
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