Even though it’s summer, there’s always time for pie. Today I’m cooking something from a book which I bought ten years ago, to divert myself on a long-haul flight – Jane Grigson’s Fruit Book. I’ve owned it for far longer than The Vegetable Book, although it was written and published afterwards, in 1982.
The plums are some gorgeous organic ones which I bought when the lovely Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green held a small weekend market in late July. I am cheating/being lazy/not-chaining-myself-to-the-kitchen-on-the-weekend-I-have-a-real-job-and-I-need-to-relax-don’t-you-know and using shop-bought pastry.
Puff pastry goes particularly well with plums on account of its butteriness. If you use the frozen kind, roll it out, spread it with melted butter; fold, chill and roll it out again; repeat once more. Just the thin coating of butter improves the flavour.
To make a jalousie, roll out 2 oblongs of pastry. Put one on a damp baking sheet, brush round the rim with water, and cover the centre with halved stoned plums (Victorias will do), cut side down. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, and walnuts as in the recipe above if you like.
Fold the other oblong in half lengthways, cut a series of parallel slits in the centre, leaving a rim. Open out the pastry and put it over the plums. The slits should have the look of a slatted venetian blind, or jalousie. Press down the rim of the pastry. Brush with beaten egg and bake at gas 7 – 8, 220 – 230C, 425-450F until golden brown. Lower the heat after 20 minutes, and leave for another 10 – 15 minutes until the plums are tender.
Bonus pic of various pastries, including jalousie (bottom right) from The Book of Pastry by Dorothy Johnston (in consultation with the Spry cookery service) Spectator Publications 1964.
- No walnuts were included in the making of this pie.
- I used about 12 plums of varying sizes and 125g of pastry (1/4 block), which when rolled out, made a jalousie of about 6 x 10 inches.
- I forgot to add the cinnamon and ended up sprinkling it on top of the pastry. Twit.
Lovely, dead-easy classic (as long as you remember to add all five ingredients in order), which would work well with many fruit and spice combinations.
Jalousie’d By Elly