I had guests coming for tea and cake an hour after Sukkot ended (*). So the minute we finished Havdala, I called the kids and said, “We’re baking cakes now!”. There were two cakes planned: The ubiquitous chocolate chip oil based cake; and a plum pie because my plums were beginning to get squishy.
We started with the chocolate cake, and I was pretty stressed at first. I mean, let’s face it, I could do it so much faster by myself. But by the time the chocolate cake was in the oven, I began to appreciate the value of three pairs of hands. While I poured the chocolate cake into the pan, my eldest washed the plums. My middle child helped me assemble the ingredients of the crust. I mixed it myself, but my middle child helped flatten the dough in the pie plate. Then we began to slice the plums (he used a regular knife). While we were doing this, my eldest pricked the dough with a fork, and spread jam on the dough. Then he arranged the plum slices. At first he put them too far apart, but when I corrected him he did a stupendous job. I haven’t had such a beautifully arranged pie in… never. :) (I ruined it a bit by filling spaces between the rows afterwards). Then I put the sugar and cinnamon in the sifter and sprinkled it over the plums while my kids ate all the leftover plum slices. ;)
It was a real joy to bake with my kids. And it actually saved me time!
Crust – Based on My own pie crust:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup oil
3 tbsp milk or water, cold
6 plums, 2 peaches, 1 nectarine, sliced;
2 tbsp nectarine jam (or plum, or peach)
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
dash of cinnamon (or to taste)
Sift flour sugar and salt into a 9” pie plate. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, mix oil and milk/water. Pour immediately into the pie plate and mix with the flour mixture, using a fork (if you wait after mixing, the oil and milk/water separate again). I use my hands after it begins looking like dough. Press onto the pie plate, spreading it with your fingers. Prick it with a fork. Spread with jam using an egg brush or the back of a spoon. Arrange fruit slices on the jam. Sift sugar and cinnamon on top of fruit. Bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 30 minutes or until crust is light brown (I baked it at 160 degrees with the chocolate cake, it still came out OK).
I was sure that the pie would be a soggy mess as the plums were juicy, but surprisingly it wasn’t. The jam must have absorbed most of the liquids somehow, resulting in fruit pie in jelly on top of an excellent flaky crust. Divine!
Already half gone…
* The Jewish day starts at sunset. Therefore all holy days start at sunset and end at stars-out the day after. As we started daylight saving (don’t ask), this means that the holiday is between 17:00 and 18:00 the day after. The guests were coming at 19:00.
Notes on crust: I added another tbsp of liquid to the original recipe as otherwise it was too crumbly. It has now graduated to flaky :) I omit the sugar for savoury pies. 1 tsp salt in the original recipe is waaaay too much, for savoury pies I use two pinches.
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