plum crumb pie (with cardamom)


Let’s first acknowledge the fact that it is no longer italian plum season. I know this, okay? I made this pie a couple months ago, and it got lost in the chaotic-ness that is my life during the Fall harvest season on our farm. But guess what? If you have frozen plums (kudos to you for thinking ahead!), they work perfectly! And you could also swap in red plums, which I’ve been seeing all over the grocery store in the past couple of weeks. Yay! Pluots would work well with this recipe as well. So many options!

Also it has a crumb top, which I love since it’s so no-fuss. I’ll sometimes do a crumb top when I’m in a hurry, or if I don’t quite have enough pastry to finish a double crust pie! You can definitely play around with the amount of crumbs you want on your pie, as I know everyone has their own preference to fruit to crumb ratio. And on a similar note, I will say that baking this in a shallower pan works better than a deep one. For a lot of pies I find this true, and I’m not just saying that since I love a higher crust ratio. Ha! Deeper pies = more fruit = longer baking time…and that can sometimes lead to problems if you’re not super experienced with pie baking (burning your crust or not cooking the filling enough are common issues!).

I like using a shallower glass dish, but that is totally up to you! If you’re using a deeper pie dish, you may need to increase the amount of filling to get a nice full pie. Another benefit of a glass pan is that you can see what’s going on with your bottom crust. If you have trouble with soggy bottoms, it’s a great way to check on the crust to make sure it’s getting brown!

Also note that you can definitely make this into a double crust pie!

plum pie

recipe: adapted from

yields: one 9 inch pie

Pastry - yields one double crust pie


2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 cup cold butter

2 teaspoons white vinegar

1/2 cup minus 2 teaspoons very cold water 


In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and brown sugar.  Add in cold butter, and use a pastry blender, fork, or a grater (if butter is frozen), to cut in the butter.  You want the butter to be in pea-sized pieces.  I like to work it with my hands to break the chunks up at the end as you don't want them to get too small.

Place 2 teaspoons vinegar into a liquid measuring cup.  Add enough cold water until it equals 1/2 cup total.  *I will do this at the start of the baking process, and place in the freezer to really cool down.

Pour water mixture over the flour-butter mixture.  Use a spatula to stir mixture.  Once the dough has started to come together, turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  The dough will look very shaggy and flour-y at this point, that's just right.  Very gently work with your hands to bring the dough together a bit more.  I scoop up the flour bits, place them on top of the dough, and then fold them in.  The goal is to work the dough as little as possible.  Overworking the dough causes more gluten development to form, and we don't want that to happen as it causes your crust to be tough!

Gently separate the dough into two equal balls, flatten slightly into round discs, cover with plastic wrap, and let them chill in the fridge for a minimum of an hour.  (Can keep in the fridge for about a week, or in the freezer in an airtight container for a few months.) Use one for this recipe, and save the other in the fridge or freezer for another time.

pie filling

6 cups fresh plums, pitted & quartered

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup tapioca

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 tablespoon lemon juice


3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

5 tablespoons cup butter, cubed

Pie Assembly

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Let your pie dough rest on the counter for 10-15 minutes before rolling it out. If you try to roll it out and it starts cracking, simply wait a bit more and try again. Roll out your pie crust and place into a pie dish. You want to have an inch or two hanging over the edge of your pie dish so that you can crimp it after. Let it rest in the fridge while you get the filling ready.

In a large bowl, mix together plums, sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, cardamom, and lemon juice. Pour into the prepared crust, and place back into the fridge.

In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in butter using a fork, pastry cutter, or simply your fingers until all the chunks are the size of a pea.

Sprinkle crumbs over top of pie filling. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes, then bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and cook for another 40-50 minutes until bubbling well. Use tinfoil or a crust shield to protect crust if getting too dark. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving, otherwise the filling will be too runny.

Best the first day, but will keep on the counter covered loosely with tinfoil/kitchen towel for several days.

Happy pie making!