This was the year that every variety of fruit seemed to produce beautifully. Talk about a bountiful harvest!
Everybody’s berries were insane this year–abundant, large, and delicious. Some people even got a second crop of strawberries. Melons and tomatoes and vegetables all were healthy and happy. Apricot trees escaped freezing. Last year there were no cherries but this year they were amazing.
We didn’t grow much at all but what we did grow did fantastically! Last year I pruned the apple tree and thought I must’ve done a terrible job because we got maybe a dozen apples but this year it’s overflowing. Then there’s the plum tree . . . the plum tree took on a life of its own.
I knew the tree was going to be very full when the fruit came on. I thought about thinning the plums but I never followed through with that thought. They took forever to ripen and I kept waiting to do battle with the birds but the birds only wanted ripe fruit. The birds and I checked that tree’s progress every day–checking, but doing nothing.
Finally, one day I was caught off guard when Leif told me two branches had broken under the weight of the plums. Shoot! I propped the broken branches and those around them up with 2x4s. All the weight was on one side of the tree and I wondered again about thinning the still unripe plums. Still no birds . . .
As I got ready to go out of town for work, I told Leif he might need to pick some plums while I was gone. Surely they would be ready. While I was gone, the plums only ripened a little but by the time I got home five days later, their weight was pulling the tree out of the ground!
Needless to say, my neighbors started ducking for cover when they saw me coming with bags of plums. This year we ate a lot and gave a lot away and I am a little tired of them. The birds seem to have gotten their fair share too because the tree seems to belong to drunken bees now.
Time to make some plum dessert. Instead of making a big plum tart, I decided to do something even more casual and just pinch some dough around chopped, sweetened plums and call it good. I was pleasantly surprised by my little endeavor.
I used puff pastry and, I have to say, the jury is still out on that stuff. I give high marks to people who make their own puff pastry because I don’t think it seems easy, but I have to think it tastes better than the purchased variety. You can use a basic pie dough recipe–no need for puff pastry.
Also, when making fruit desserts, I tend to add as much fruit as I am going to want to eat. I mean, don’t tell me to use two cups of fruit when I’m in the mood for six, you know? I sweeten according to the ripeness/firmness of the fruit, of course, but it’s never an exact science with me–it’s always a little hit or miss, but with fresh summer fruit, it’s hard to go wrong.
The image below shows the point where the hand pies could have been folded into triangles or a layer of pastry dough could have been put right over the top and crimped. I just felt like doing them the way I did them.
Of course, some of them will pop open if they’re folded like this, but that’s OK–that ugly little treat is going to taste just fine!
I tossed them into zip lock bags, put one bag in the freezer, one in the fridge, and I am snacking on the other.
- 3 cups of pitted, chopped plums
- 3 Tablespoons raspberry jam
- 1-3 Tablespoons sugar, depending on ripeness of plums
- 1-3 Tablespoons tapioca pudding - You can crush the tapioca into powder in a blender or use a mortar and pestle if you don't like tapioca balls.
- Water or egg rinse to brush onto the dough
- Extra sugar to sprinkle on top
- Prepare dough and cut into squares (whatever size you like). Pastry and pie dough should always be cold. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or spray/grease with non-stick product.
- Mix the plums, sugar and tapioca together in a bowl.
- Drop spoonfuls of the plum mixture into the center of the dough and fold the dough. Brush water onto dough to help it seal.
- Brush additional water or an egg rinse over the top of the folded dough and sprinkle additional sugar on top.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 mins or until the dough is fully cooked and the edges are golden brown.
Have you been enjoying delicious local fruit this summer? What are some of your favorite recipes?
Follow up: Here is the plum blueberry galette I made the next year.