Serves 6 – 8
Preparation 30 minutes + resting and cooling time
Cooking 40 minutes
Five Spice Plum and Almond Crumble Pie
6 medium (675 g) plums, or yellow nectarines
1 cup (220 g) caster sugar
1 teaspoon five spice powder
2 whole star anise
1 medium orange, finely grated zest and 125ml juice
150 g salted butter
¾ cup (165 g) caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup (60 g) ground almonds
1 2/3 cups (250 g) cups plain flour
¼ cup (35 g) slivered almonds
Icing sugar and softly whipped cream, to serve
1 Thickly slice the plums, place in medium saucepan, and add the sugar, five spice powder, star anise and the orange zest and juice. (Top up with a little water if less than 125ml). Place over a low heat and stir gently until sugar dissolves. Bring to simmering point and remove the softened plums with a slotted spoon. Set aside to cool. Increase heat to high and cook the remaining liquid, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes, or until thick and syrupy. Remove from heat to cool, remove and discard the star anise.
2 Beat the butter and sugar in a small mixing bowl with electric beaters until light and creamy. Add the vanilla bean paste and egg, beat well.Using a spatula fold in the ground almonds and flour to form a soft dough. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead gently (about 30 seconds) until smooth.
3 Shape the dough into a small rectangle, cut off one third and wrap it in plastic wrap. Wrap the remaining piece in plastic wrap also. Refrigerate pastry for 30 minutes.
4 Pre-heat oven to moderate, 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Lightly grease a 35cm x 11cm fluted tart tin. Roll the larger pastry rectangle out on floured surface, or between two sheets of baking paper to a 3mm thickness. Carefully place pastry in tin to line the base and sides, trim edges. Place the tin on a baking sheet for easier handling and to ensure an evenly cooked golden pastry base.
5 Combine the cooled syrup and plums, and spoon into the pastry case. Crumble the remaining rectangle of pastry (and any pastry scraps) over the plums. Sprinkle with almonds.
6 Bake for 30-40 minutes until pastry is golden and the plums are bubbling. Remove from oven, cool a little. Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar and whipped cream. Can be stored it in an airtight container in a cool place for up to two days and served cold.
This pastry dough is rich and buttery, handle it gently and don’t over knead. If it tears or breaks as it goes in the tin, simply press pieces together. Any scraps are perfect to add to the crumble topping. It’s important the filling is cool when you place it over the pastry. This helps the pastry become crisp rather than soggy.