Last summer we took down five trees: two poplars that were far too big for our tiny yard, two Greengage plum trees and one apple tree. The fruit trees were horribly pruned and in a poor spot for fruit production, but I was still sad to see them go.
The last tree left standing from our “old yard” is a Greengage Plum. As much as the suckers it sends every which way drive me crazy, I couldn’t part with that tree. Why? Because its fruit is plum spectacular.
The Greengage is a European plum which was introduced into England by Sir Thomas Gage in the early 16th century. They have a Granny-Smith apple color that belies their flavor: sweet, with just a touch of tart. In fact until Big Papa met me, the fruit fell to the ground uneaten–he thought the plums weren’t ripe because they were “still green.”
Every year, when they ripen, I make a few sweet treats with our plums. This year I decided to bake a rustic gluten-free pie. I gussied it up with lemon verbena from our herb garden and a candied ginger for pizazz. Read on for this great plum recipe as well as two others below.
Gluten-free Plum Pie Recipe (with lemon verbena and candied ginger)
I bought my gluten-free crust pre-made because I have a three-year-old. You could do the same. But a homemade crust is the bomb.
- 1 cup gluten-free flour* (or regular flour), plus more for work surface
- 1/4 cup fine yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Note: Crusts with gluten-free flour will be more crumbly (homemade or purchased), which is why I didn’t fold over the edge of my crust.
Make the crust: In a food processor, pulse flour, cornmeal, sugar to combine. Add butter and continue pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces remaining. If you don’t have a food processor, you can mix pie crust with your hands, two forks or knives, or a pastry mixer. Add 2 tablespoons ice water; pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed. (If needed, add up to 2 tablespoons more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.) Do not over-mix.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead it once or twice. Then press the dough into a round, somewhat flat shape; Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Flour a large piece of parchment paper. Place dough on the paper. Roll out the dough, using your knuckles apply pressure to the edges so it won’t crack. Lightly flour the top of dough to prevent sticking. Roll out your dough (to about 14′ diameter). Transfer dough (leave it on the parchment) to a prepared baking sheet.
Egg wash for crust
- 1 large egg yolk, mixed with 1 teaspoon water (I didn’t do this with a purchased crust, but would if I made my own).
Greengage plum filling
- 1 1/2 pounds green-gage plum, or any type of plums, pitted, and sliced (I cut each plum-half into four pieces, but you can also cut them thinner)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (you can also use white sugar)
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (I used Maninis gluten -free flour)
- A few tablespoons chopped fresh lemon verbena (or lemon balm)
- A few tablespoons of chopped candied ginger
Make the filling: In a large bowl, toss together plums, sugar, and flour. Put the plum mixture in center of prepared crust, in a mound, and leave a 2-inch edge. Fold the edge over fruit. Brush dough with egg wash. Sprinkle lemon verbena and candied ginger on top of the plum filling.
Bake: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake tart until crust is brown and filling is bubbling, about 45 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a rack and cool for 20 minutes. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature (with ice cream, in my opinion!).
Plum Crumble Recipe
If you’re not into crusts, then Plum Crumble might be the recipe for you. My crumble topping uses oats, hazelnuts and candied ginger (yes, I love that stuff).
Plum Chutney Recipe
Or, if you’re looking for something sweet and savory to toss over fish or chicken, Plum Chutney is the way to go. I use star anise, mustard, cloves, cinnamon, Walla Walla sweet onions and ginger (fresh, not candied, for this recipe).
Take the road less traveled, Beth