How was your weekend? On Sunday, my mom came over and we went to a nearby park. Then we came back to my apartment to have lunch. We had barbecue chicken sandwiches (simple recipe coming soon!) on the patio. After Maggie went down for her nap, we had the plum and mixed berry pie shown here. I shared some with Maggie too, after she woke up.
The filling didn’t fill my pie pan to the top, which was a bit disappointing. The crust looked a bit wonky and wouldn’t win many points on presentation alone.
I am reminded of a quote I have seen from Julia Child on being a good host. I couldn’t remember the exact words, but looked it up. The following is from Julia Child’s book My Life in France:
“I don’t believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make. When one’s hostess starts in with self-deprecations such as “Oh, I don’t know how to cook…,” or “Poor little me…,” or “This may taste awful…,” it is so dreadful to have to reassure her that everything is delicious and fine, whether it is or not. Besides, such admissions only draw attention to one’s shortcomings (or self-perceived shortcomings), and make the other person think, “Yes, you’re right, this really is an awful meal!” Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed — eh bien, tant pis! Usually one’s cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile, as my ersatz eggs Florentine surely were, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile — and learn from her mistakes.”
I didn’t remember Julia Child’s cardinal rule of never apologizing for what happens in the kitchen until after apologizing too much. It is a good rule. Focus on the positive and your guests won’t mind that your pie looks a bit rustic. They probably wouldn’t have thought much of it.
My pie didn’t look magazine-ready, or should I say influencer Instagram-ready, but my guests didn’t mind. The berries were perfectly ripe and the filling had just the right amount of sweetness. It was perfect, especially with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.
In this plum and mixed berry pie, you can use just one type of berry if you would like, or a wide variety depending on what you have on hand. I used a mix of raspberries, blackberries and strawberries.
This plum and mixed berry pie is great in the height of summer when fresh berries are abundant and ripe.
Plum and mixed berry pie
Adapted from the Blueberry Nectarine Crisp recipe in the Huckleberry cookbook.
Use one 9-inch pie crust of your choice.
5 ripe plums, sliced into eighths
2 1/2 cups fresh mixed berries
3 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp white sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Follow directions on pie crust package to put pie crust in 9 inch pie pan. Or, make pie crust from scratch and carefully place into pie pan. If you want to crimp the edges, now is the time.
Combine sliced plums, mixed berries, cornstarch, sugar and salt. Place in pie shell.
Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. If the crust starts to get too brown, cover it very loosely with strips of aluminum foil.
Let the pie cool for at least 20 minutes after coming out of the oven. Serve alone, with whipped cream, or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar
It is best to use a cold mixing bowl and whisk. You can put your whisk and mixing bowl in a freezer for about 5 minutes before starting the whipped cream. Whip together the above ingredients with a whisk or electric mixer for 3 to 5 minutes on medium-high until peaks begin to form.
Notes: I have some thoughts on pie dough. For this pie, I used store-bought pie dough to save time. I used the Trader Joe’s pie dough and would recommend it. My mom has said before that her favorite commercial pie dough is the Pillsbury pie dough and she finds it easier to work with than the Trader Joe’s pie dough. I haven’t made all that many pies, but in 2018 I made my mom’s recipe for French apple pie and used Erin McDowell’s perfect pie crust recipe. That was pretty amazing, just a lot of work that I didn’t have time for this weekend.