When we lived in our last house, we had a lovely plum tree. It was one of those fruits that for some reason I didn’t think I liked, but discovered that I did after I tried them. For two years, I loved plum season. Plum jelly, plums plain…and fresh plum pie. I was so sad when California had a few years of severe drought and all of our stone fruit trees died because of the watering restrictions.
While dealing with the glut of plums, I scoured through cookbooks looking for easy plumb recipes. The fresh plum pie recipe I settled on from one of my vintage cookbooks I got from my great-grandmother via my Mom (The Modern Family Cookbook) was super easy, especially when combined with my mother-in-law’s simple oil pie crust recipe.
Your traditional pie crust recipe made with butter (or something similar) is nice because it has a bit more flexibility – you can freeze it uncooked, make it ahead and let it sit a bit. But when I need a fast, easy pie crust recipe, this is my go-to. With how simple it is, there’s no reason to not just make it on the spot. No dealing with ice water or keeping butter cold. Traditional recipes are a little more involved, so I can see why you’d want to make them in bulk and freeze so you have them at the ready.
Oil Pie Crust
This recipe makes either two single pie crusts, or one double (top and bottom), and is super simple and basically foolproof. First, mix 2 1/2 cups flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a bowl.
Next, mix 1/3 cup of water and 2/3 cup oil. (I usually just whip them together until bubbly with a fork straight in a measuring cup.)
Combine the wet and dry ingredients until the dough rolls into a ball. Honestly, I usually just use a wooden spoon (and then my hands) to do this rather than dirtying a mixer bowl and dough hook.
Divide in half, then roll it out to fit your pie plate. See? Easy.
Fresh Plum Pie
I think the main reason I love this pie so much is that there’s not a lot of processing that needs to be done to the plums. You simply need to wash the plums, cut them in half, and remove the pits – no peeling required.
To make the fresh plum pie, prep your pie crust and line an 8″ pie pan, carefully fitting it into the angles of the pan. (I recommend using the Simple Oil Pie Crust above!) Trim off the pastry even with the edges of the pan.
Arrange your plum halves in the pastry-lined pan. If I end up with gaps, I usually will trim the plums into quarters and tuck them into the open areas.
Mix together 3/4 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture over the plums and dot with 1 tablespoon of butter cut into small pieces. (Or if, like me, you forget to put the butter in, you can tuck it in through the gashes in the top crust. It worked!)
Lay your upper pie crust over the top, trim about 1/2 inch from the edge, and tuck the upper crust under the lower. Flute the edge as desired. Gash the top crust in several places.
Bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for 25 minutes longer or until the fruit is tender. Cool on cake rack. Fresh plum pie is good hot or cold (and with or without ice cream!)
Simple Oil Pie Crust
- 2 1/2 cup flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup water
- Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Mix oil and water together until bubbly.
- Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and mix all together until the dough rolls into a ball. Divide in half and roll out between two pieces of wax paper. Makes 1 large 2-crusted pie or 3 small single-crust pies.
Make this pie crust right before you need it. If you let it sit too long, it will start to separate. As a result, it does not freeze well.
I have tried making it with coconut oil, and that does not work - the crust does not come out flaky and light like it will if you use vegetable oil.
Fresh Plum Pie
- 2 pounds fresh plums
- 1 recipe Oil Pie Crust
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Wash plums but do not peel. Cut in halves and remove pits.
- Roll out slightly more than half the pastry to line an 8" pie pan, and fit carefully into angles. Trim off pastry even with pan rim.
- Arrange plums into the pastry-lined pan.
- Blend sugar, flour and cinnamon and sprinkle over the plums. Dot with butter.
- Roll out the rest of pastry, gash in several places. Moisten edges of lower crust, then lay upper crust over the plums and press upper and lower edges of pastry together. Trim off pastry 1/2-inch from edge, turn under and flute edge as desired.
- Bake at 450* F for 12 minutes, then reduce heat to 325* F and bake 25 minutes longer or until fruit is tender.
- Remove to cake rack to cool. Serve warm or cold. 5 or 6 servings.
Oil Pie Crust recipe