Having re-discovered my pastry making mojo, I've been quite keen to practice the art. As you know, money is tight here these days and to just make pastry goods for the hell of it isn't do-able. So, I have to make something that contributes to the menu and gives some kind of added payback for the investment in time, electricity and ingredients.
We popped into the supermarket for some milk recently and came out with a cut-price (40p) punnet of plums. Well, they were just too good to miss, considering they'd been selling at the extortionate price of £1 previously. As an aside - HOW do supermarkets consider 400g of plums to be worth £1? People have plum trees in their garden and can't give the fruit away - so an entire quid on what is effectively a teeny handful seems to me to be utterly extortionate.
Anyway. So I had extra-curricular plums in the fridge, and a buckshee piece of ginger (leftover from chutney making). So, plum pie for dessert on Sunday was decided upon. Now, here's how you do it ...
PLUM LATTICE PIE (feeds 6)
For pastry :
210g plain flour
half a tsp baking powder
55g cold salted butter
50g cold lard
1 tsp caster sugar
small amount of water
For filling :
500g plums, stoned and quartered
small piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 flat tsp ground cinnamon
sugar to taste.
1. Make the pastry the day before, by adding all the ingredients bar the water to a food processor and blitzing until they resemble fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, rub the fat into the flour & baking powder until you achieve the same result. Add a small amount of water, just enough to bring the pastry together in a fairly thick but not sticky, dough.
2. Wrap in cling film (do not compress, just pat lightly together into a mound) and put the pastry in the fridge until the following day.
3. Pre-heat your oven to 180deg C (fan). Cut your pastry mound into one third/two thirds and place a length of cling film on your work surface and turn the larger amount of pastry out onto it. Cover with another length of cling film and begin to roll the pastry out to fit your pie dish.
|Pastry case : part-baked and ready for filling|
5. While the pastry case is baking, put the plums into a microwaveable bowl, together with the ginger and cinnamon and as much sugar as you think they're going to need. I usually eat a piece of plum while I'm cutting them, so that I'll know how sour/sweet they are. Give it all a mix, then put on to cook on High for 3 minutes or until they are just beginning to soften.
|Plums - microwaved and ready to go|
7. Cut the rolled out pastry into strips - you'll need around 8 separate strips - long enough to reach from one side of the pastry case to the other.
8. Pour the plums into the pastry case, then brush a little milk onto the edges. Lay pastry strips in alternate directions across the top, pressing them into the edge of the pastry case.
9. Once your lattice is done, brush a little milk over to glaze and bake at 180deg C (fan) until the fruit is bubbling and the pastry is golden.
Serve with custard or cream.