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Culinary Class: TLP’s Plum Skillet Pie

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Stone Fruit Skillet Pie

Written by Lia Grabowski | Photos by Jonathan Boncek

 

Plums pop in this rustic dessert

The perfect ending to a summer supper, skillet pie is the marriage of sweet, ripe fruit and a simple crust—no need for fancy lattice work. Though reminiscent of a galette, this low-maintenance dessert is baked in a cast-iron skillet, which contains the juicy filling and helps crisp the crust. Forget lard, the secret to the rich crust is butter, preferably the high-fat European variety, which yields a flakier crust than its American counterpart. The way butter and flour are incorporated can make all the difference, too. Conventional pie wisdom calls for working toward pea-sized butter pieces throughout the flour, but our pinching technique creates layers, ensuring a flaky texture similar to puff pastry. Mind the temperature of your dough as you roll it out—if it begins to stretch, pop it into the refrigerator for a few minutes. (Stretching the dough during rolling or when placing it into the skillet can cause the crust to shrink up as it bakes.) Skillet pie can be made with any fruit—think strawberries or peaches—but note that plums are rich in pectin. If you use another fruit, you may need to compensate by adding a thickener, like cornstarch, along with the sugar and salt. No matter what fruit you choose, let your pie cool so the filling has time to set before diving in.

Ingredients

•2 cups plus 2 teaspoons flour, divided, plus extra for rolling pastry

•1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided

•1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

•12 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cubed

•1/3 cup cold water

•2 pounds plums, pitted and sliced into wedges