Classic Deep Purple Plum Pie with a Rich Flaky Crust

I went to Whole Foods Market to purchase parsnips and noticed the beautiful purple plums. So I purchased several of these too. Guess I’m an impulsive buyer. Anyway, I’ve always wanted to make a plum pie. If you never thought you’d like plums, then try “Deep Purple Plum Pie.” This pie is very easy to make and is perhaps one of the best fruit pies you will ever taste. Not to brag, but it really is great. And I made a rich, flaky crust to go along with the plums.

Yes, I’m surprising myself here. Never thought I was a great fan of plums. But prepared certain ways, deep purple plums are delicious. I made an upbeat pie crust which is made with butter and contains a little sugar — tastes like a short bread cookie. Complements the pie perfectly. Then serve with ice cream!

Need to photograph and eat quickly. Ice cream melts very fast in 99 degree Louisiana afternoon heat. (I made these pies in August.)

There are many varieties of plums. My parents planted a green gage plum tree by mistake and the plums really weren’t good for anything as I recall. This is a common European plum tree which came from a green-fruited wild plum originally found in Iran. Unfortunately, my folks didn’t realize the mistake for several years until the tree grew.

Purple plums (which they intended to plan), red and yellow plums have a sweet and delicious flavor. They ripen in autumn so now is the time to try out some recipes. I prefer the plums cooked in dishes. Pie is an ideal use for plums.

I found deep purple plums at both the Whole Foods Market and the open-air farmer’s market and ended up with 2 varieties plums for my pie. One standard 9″ pie pan or Pyrex pie dish takes about 4 cups of sliced plums so I had enough for 2 pies. This was about 2 lb of plums or approximately 10 plums — give or take a few — for each pie..

Here are the other ingredients for the plum pie filling. I kept it simple, adding sugar, cornstarch and a  bit of bourbon for good measure. (I skipped the salt and vanilla extract.) Mix the sugar, cornstarch and bourbon with the pitted and sliced plums (leave the plum skins on) and gently toss to combine.Of course, I made my own pie crust (and you can do that, too). I found a recipe which uses butter in the pie crust as well as a little sugar. This makes the crust taste like a rich shortbread cookie. Use a food processor to blend the crust ingredients. Butter makes a very soft and pliable pie crust and so you need to keep the pastry board well floured as you roll out the crust to about 12″ to fit in the 9″ pie pan. Work quickly so the pastry stays chilled. Don’t roll this crust out too thinly.

With the trimmings of the pie crust, I made cookie cut-outs. I brushed to top of the dough with egg yolk and sprinkled on turbinado sugar (also known as raw sugar). Turbinado sugar has courser crystals compared to white sugar. It doesn’t melt when baked and gives a nice texture to the decorations. Pour the plum mixture into the pie shell and arrange the cut-outs on top of the  pie.

Bake at 375 degrees. The edges of the pie shell brown quickly, so protect it by wrapping the edge of the pie crust with a strip of aluminum foil after about 20 minutes.

Purple plums have a delicious and sweet fruity flavor. When cooked in a pie, this is one of the best fruit pies around.

Classic Deep Purple Plum Pie with Rich Flaky Crust

  • Servings: 6 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 4 cups sliced and pitted deep purple plums (about 2 lb or 10 – 12 plums)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp bourbon
  • 1 (9″) flaky pie crust shell
  • Vanilla ice cream, optional

Method and Steps:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Rinse the plums.Slice the plums into fourths and then eighth pieces, removing the pits. Leave the skins on. Place into a large bowl along with the sugar, cornstarch salt and bourbon. Gently toss to combine.
  3. Prepare the flaky pie crust shell. Pour the plum mixture into the pie shell and arrange cookie cutter cut-outs on top of plums.
  4. Place in 375 degree oven and bake for 40 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove pies and add a protective aluminum foil strip around the crimped top edge of pie. Return to oven and finish baking.
  5. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
  6. When ready to serve, cut into 6 pieces and place on dessert plates. Serve with ice cream, optional.

Rich, Flaky Pie Crust

  • Difficulty: moderate
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  • 1-1/4 cups flour plus extra as needed
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup butter) cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp turbinado or raw sugar

Method and Steps:

  1. Add flour, sugar and salt to a large food processor bowl. Pulse to combine.
  2. Add butter chunks and pulse for about 4 times until the butter is cut into size of small peas.
  3. With processor bowl running, adding 1/4 cup ice water. Continue to pulse until dough begins to form into a ball. Add additional water, 1 Tbsp at a time if needed.
  4. Place dough on well-floured pastry board and form into a ball. Flour top of pastry ball.
  5. Use rolling pin to gently roll dough into a circle about 12″ in diameter. Turn dough occasionally sprinkling more flour beneath and on top of the dough. Dough will be about 1/4″ thick. Work quickly so that the pastry stays as cold as possible.
  6. Transfer dough to standard 9″ pie pan. Trim edges and crimp.
  7. Take scraps of dough and roll into a circle about 1/4″ depth.
  8. Spread beaten egg yolk over scraps.
  9. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over the dough.
  10. Cut out shapes, such as hearts, with cookie cutters. Arrange these on top of the pie fruit filling prior to baking.


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