Double-Crust Polish Plum Pie (Półkruche ciasto ze śliwkami)

The closest equivalent to an American pie in Polish cuisine is a double-crust, sweet pastry filled with summer fruit, usually apples or plums, and baked in a large, rectangular baking pan.  The apple version is called szarlotka.  It’s like Polish apple pie.

The pastry that forms the base of the pie is “półkruche” or “half crumbly.”  It seems to differ from French pâté sucrée in that you add baking powder and sour cream to the flour/butter/sugar/egg mixture of pâté sucrée.  Just like with pie dough, “półkruche” has been a challenge for me.  How can you roll out the dough evenly, to the correct size, without the dough sticking to the board and rolling pin, and without tearing when transferring to the baking pan?  I haven’t found the answer to that question yet, except to keep practicing, much to my kids’ delight.  Półkruche pastry dough is very forgiving so that even if it falls apart completely when trying to transfer it to the baking pan, you just patch it up with your fingers.  Any repairs disappear during baking!

Following is the recipe.  Join me afterwards for step-by-step illustrated instructions.

Print Recipe
Double-Crust Polish Plum Pie (Półkruche ciasto ze śliwkami)
© 2019 HollyTrail.com
Cuisine Polish
Keyword Pastry, Polish
Servings
Ingredients
For the Pastry Dough
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (450 grams)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces (2 sticks butter/8 ounces/226 grams)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150 grams) (if less sweet pastry is desired, reduce to 1/2 cup sugar)
  • 1 extra large whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk from extra large egg (use left over egg white for topping - see below)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sour cream (use 1-2 tablespoons more if dough is too dry)
Plum Filling
  • 1.75 pounds (800 grams) Italian plums (up to 2.2 pounds/1kg plums may be used)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Topping
  • 1 egg white (left over from egg yolk used for dough)
  • 1/4 cup large crystal sugar (for topping) (regular granulated sugar may be used)
Cuisine Polish
Keyword Pastry, Polish
Servings
Ingredients
For the Pastry Dough
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (450 grams)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces (2 sticks butter/8 ounces/226 grams)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150 grams) (if less sweet pastry is desired, reduce to 1/2 cup sugar)
  • 1 extra large whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk from extra large egg (use left over egg white for topping - see below)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sour cream (use 1-2 tablespoons more if dough is too dry)
Plum Filling
  • 1.75 pounds (800 grams) Italian plums (up to 2.2 pounds/1kg plums may be used)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Topping
  • 1 egg white (left over from egg yolk used for dough)
  • 1/4 cup large crystal sugar (for topping) (regular granulated sugar may be used)
Instructions
Prepare the Pastry Dough
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together 3 1/2 cups flour, 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cut in butter with two butter knives until pea size.
  2. Incorporate 3/4 cup sugar (or 1/2 cup) into the flour-butter mixture using the two knives. ("Toss" the sugar to incorporate.)
  1. In a small bowl, fork blend egg, egg yolk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1/3 cup sour cream. Pour over flour/butter/sugar mixture. Toss with knives until moistened. Use your hands to bring mixture together into the center of the bowl and briefly knead until a ball is formed. Cut off 1/3 of dough (for the top crust) and form into a flat disk. Reshape remainder into a flat disk. Wrap both disks in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes (or freezer for 15 minutes).
Prepare Plums
  1. Wash plums and spread out onto paper towels; pat dry. Slice in half and remove pits. Cut again in half. Place in bowl and toss with sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
Assemble Pastry
  1. Prepare oven by placing rack one rung lower than the middle. Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C. Grease 9 inch x 13 inch x 2 inch baking pan. Working quickly, on a generously floured counter or board, roll out larger disk of pastry dough into a rectangle that is 1/2 inch larger than bottom of pan. Carefully wrap on rolling pin and transfer to pan. If the dough tears, place pieces of dough from sections where there is too much dough to cover gaps in pan; lightly press to seal. Form a 1/2 inch wall around the sides of the pan with the dough.
  2. Spread plums to cover bottom of crust. Roll out remaining dough and place on top. Repair tears just as with bottom crust. Press edge of top crust with the edge of bottom crust all around.
  3. With a fork, beat egg white for several seconds. Brush beaten egg white on top crust with a pastry brush. Sprinkle 1/3 cup sugar evenly over crust. Bake in preheated oven for 45-48 minutes or until golden brown. Serve at room temperature.
Recipe Notes

For a slightly larger pan (14.5-15 inch x 10 inch large lasagna pan or 36 cm x 25 cm), use the following proportions:  For pastry dough, combine 4 cups flour (500 g), 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/4 heaping teaspoon salt, 2 1/2 sticks butter (10 oz./284 g), 1 cup granulated sugar (200 g), 1 whole egg, 2 egg yolks, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 1/2 cup sour cream (8 tablespoons, but use a little bit more if dough is too dry).  Use 2.2 lbs. plums/1 kg sprinkled with 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon.  For topping,  sprinkle 1/3 cup sugar (100 g) after brushing top crust with egg white.

Share this Recipe

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS

Prepare the pastry dough by whisking together 3 1/2 cups flour, 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Cut in butter pieces (1 tablespoon-sized pieces) with two butter knives until the flour mixture is roughly pea size.  The process is supposed to be quick–there is no need to be all that precise.

In this case, some pieces were larger than pea size.  I let it go since time was slipping by too fast and I needed to get to the next step.

Mix in 3/4 cup sugar using the two knives.  (Mix in 1/2 cup sugar for less sweet dough.)  A good way to describe the process is that it’s like you are “tossing” the sugar with the flour mixture.  You do not want to touch the mixture with your hands because it will add heat to the butter, softening it, which we do not want to do yet.

In a small bowl, fork blend egg, egg yolk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1/3 cup sour cream.

Pour over flour/butter/sugar mixture.

Toss with knives until moistened.

Use your hands to bring the mixture together into the center of the bowl and briefly knead until a dough ball is formed.  Handle the dough as little as possible.

Cut off about 1/3 of dough (for the top crust) and form into a flat disk. Reshape remainder into a flat disk.

Wrap both disks in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes (or freezer for 15 minutes).

Wash plums and spread out onto paper towels; pat dry.

Slice in half and remove pits.

Cut again in half.

Place in bowl and toss with sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Prepare oven by placing rack one rung lower than the middle. Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C. Grease 9 inch x 13 inch x 2 inch baking pan. Working quickly, on a generously floured counter or board, roll out the larger disk of pastry dough into a rectangle that is about 1/2 inch larger than bottom of pan.  Flour the disk and rolling pin first so that the dough doesn’t stick to the rolling pin.

Carefully wrap the rolled out dough around the rolling pin to the extent possible and transfer the dough to the pan.  The dough easily tears.  To repair tears, place pieces to cover gaps in pan and lightly press to seal.

The dough should be too big for the pan.  Press the extra dough to the sides of the pan to form a 1/2 inch crust.

You can see in the photo below that I did quite a bit of repairing!  It’s nothing to worry about.

Spread the plums to cover the bottom of the crust.

Roll out the remaining dough in the same manner as before.

Carefully cover the top of the plums with the dough.

Repair tears just as you may have had to do with the bottom crust.  Press the edge of the top crust to the edge of the bottom crust around the sides of the pan.

With a fork, beat an egg white for several seconds. Brush the beaten egg white on the top crust with a pastry brush.

Sprinkle sugar evenly over the crust.  The coarse sugar I used came straight from our last trip to Poland.  I was not able to find this kind of sugar in my local grocery store.  I think you can find raw sugar in stores, which is brown but is coarse.  This is acceptable.  Regular granulated sugar is fine to use too.

Bake the pastry for 45-48 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

When the pastry comes to room temperature, cut it into squares and serve.

My son took one the first pieces.

This piece didn’t stick around very long after the photo shoot.

Give plum szarlotka a try.  It is d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s!

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.