What better way to celebrate some spectacular produce than making a humble pie?
Dark, blood red and moreish, these plums were just begging to be encased in some flaky pastry and baked into this evocative galette. Flaky and crumbly, with the perfect balance of spice, tartness and sweetness. A tiny slice of pie can always light up my day. A little indulgence now and then isn’t so bad is it? Pair that with a dollop of creme fraiche and a rather generous drizzle of red wine caramel and now its more than just a little indulgence!
I was dabbling around to find the perfect accompaniment for this galette and I couldn’t get red wine out of my head. Some more dabbling and I discovered the ruby goddess that is red wine caramel. Its got both the nutty sweetness of a dark caramel and a sultry tartness of your favourite wine! I played around and made my version of this luxurious, deep spiced liquid that I am now obsessed with.
Pies are a reminder of vintage home baking, rustic and satisfying in every bite. They’re one of those things you’re meant to sit down with and slowly relish. Flaky and crumbly , the perfect dough is a culmination of various elements coming together and singing in perfect harmony.Cold ingredients work best to make the perfect shortcrust pastry. Vinegar in the dough isn’t traditional, but it helps to bring tenderness into the dough and prevent gluten formation.
Red Wine Vinegar/Apple Cider Vinegar- 1/2 tbsp
Castor Sugar -30g
Cinnamon powder- 1/2 tsp
Red Wine Caramel
Warm Red Wine -225g
Cinnamon- a stick
Chinese 5 spice powder- a pinch
Sea salt- a pinch
Brown sugar- 3-4 tablespoons
Cinnamon powder -1/2 tsp
1 egg beaten/3 tablespoons of milk
For the Pie dough
Combine 55g of cold water and 1/2 tbsp of red wine vinegar in a bowl and set aside in the fridge. A handmade dough is the best, for this combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and add cold cubes of butter to it. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips till you achieve a pea sized consistency.
Put the mixture on a lightly floured surface and make a well in the middle and pour the 2/3rds of the liquid in it. Using the” Fraiser” technique, use the heel of your hand and press the dough away from you, collect it together and repeat this a few times. Add the remaining liquid if necessary till the dough comes together.
One can also make the dough in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Put all the dry ingredients in and add the cold cubes of butter, mix on medium speed, till a pea sized consistency. Add liquid little by little until the dough comes together.
Turn out the dough and press into a thick disc. Cling wrap it and refrigerate for 1 hr upto overnight.
For the Red Wine Caramel
Take a small amount of sugar and add it to a pan on medium heat. keep adding small amounts of sugar, allowing the previous batch to melt completely. Cook to an amber colour.
In a separate saucepan, heat the wine simultaneously. Once the sugar is caramelised, pour in the red wine slowly, while whisking vigorously to combine. If the caramel seizes(solidifies) keep heating and whisking, it will melt. Once combined, add in the cinnamon and spices and simmer to a one string consistency. Season with a pinch of sea salt.
Slice the plums and dust with brown sugar and cinnamon.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll between 2 parchment sheets into a large round to 1/4 inch thickness. Place in the fridge for 1/2 an hr. Place the rolled out dough on a tray lined with parchment paper. Arrange the slices of plums on it, slightly overlapping in 3 rows or so. Fold the edges of the dough up, over the filling in loose pleats, leaving the fruit exposed as above. Chill in the fridge for 1/2 an hr.
Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C) , remove from the fridge and brush the exposed pastry with milk/egg wash. Bake at 350 F for about 30 mins , till the crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack till warm. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche or ice cream and generously drizzle the red wine caramel on top for a glorious symphony of the plums and wine!