Plums are in season here in Germany and the trees near where we live are dripping with tons of those little purple stone fruits right now. We’ve been out to pick only once so far but I have plans to take our large, wicker basket and long, wooden handled fruit picker out again this weekend for another foraging adventure in the neighboring fields and forest near where we live. Another galette or a clafoutis will most likely result from the next harvest of plums. Foraging for food, especially for fruits and berries, is a lot of fun and can save you a lot of money too. The cost of blackberries in the stores, for example, would have run me a small fortune just to make this blackberry pie, when all it added up to was an hour of my time and some scratches, of course! It’s no wonder then that when there are trees overflowing with ripe plums which are falling to the ground and rotting, practically in my back yard, this is what I will be baking with, at least until the next type of fruit tree comes into season!
For the Crust
1 1/2 cups Flour
1 1/4 sticks Cold Butter
1 Tablespoon Sugar
6 Tablespoons Ice Water
In a large bowl combine flour and sugar. Cut up the butter into tablespoon sized pieces and add to the flour mixture. Use a pastry cutter or blender to cut the butter up into pea sized pieces. Add the ice water a tablespoon at a time and gently stir to incorporate it into the butter flour mixture until a dough ball forms (you may need a little more or a little less ice water). Press the dough together with you hands to form a flattened ball and wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and let rest in the fridge for at least an hour.
For the Filling
.75 Kilos (about 1.7 pounds) of ripe Plums
75 grams (about 1/3 of a cup) of Raw Cane Sugar or Demerara Sugar
200 grams (1 cup) of Heavy Cream or (half milk & half cream)
2 large Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract or 1 packet of Dr. Oetker’s Bourbon Vanilla extract
6-8 Butter Shortbread Cookies
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Wash, pit and cut the plums in half, if small, and if you’re using large plums then quarter them. In a small bowl combine the sugar, cream, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk together to combine. Roll out the pastry crust and line a pie plate or tart pan with the crust. Crimp or flute the edges of the crust. Add the plums to the crust. Pour the cream/egg mixture over the plums. Crumble the shortbread cookies in large pieces over the top of the plum filling. Brush the exposed edges of the crust with milk and bake for 40-60 minutes or until the filling has set and is golden brown. You can test for doneness by jiggling the pie to see if it is firm in the middle or by piercing it with a toothpick or knife in the middle. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting. Refrigerate any leftovers and eat within 5-7 days. I actually prefer this clafoutis when served cold!