Persimmon, Plum & Blueberry Pie

Little Jack Horner,
Sat in the corner, 
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb,
and pulled out a plum,
and said, “What a good boy am I!” 

I love nursery rhymes, and I especially love finding out the stories (or rather, theories) behind them. Apparently this particular nursery rhyme is about opportunism. Here’s an excerpt from the ever trusty wealth of general, and oftentimes doubtful, information – Wikipedia:

“In the nineteenth century the story began to gain currency that the rhyme is actually about Thomas Horner, who was steward to Richard Whiting, the last abbot of Glastonbury before the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII of England. The story is reported that, prior to the abbey’s destruction, the abbot sent Horner to London with a huge Christmas pie which had the deeds to a dozen manors hidden within it as a gift to try to convince the King not to nationalize Church lands. During the journey Horner opened the pie and extracted the deeds of the manor of Mells in Somerset, which he kept for himself. It is further suggested that, since the manor properties included lead mines in the Mendip Hills, the plum is a pun on the Latin plumbum, for lead. While records do indicate that Thomas Horner became the owner of the manor, paying for the title, both his descendants and subsequent owners of Mells Manor have asserted that the legend is untrue and that Wells purchased the deed from the abbey.”

Now before I get started on other nursery rhyme origins, or – God forbid – the Tudor era random trivia that nobody but my closest (and weirdest) friends seems to care about (you know who you are)… I’m gonna slap the recipe down. This was my first time making a double crust pie, so I kept it simple and patchworked together 3 or 4 recipes for the filling (cos I didn’t have enough plums). It turned out pretty darn well, and I will definitely improvise the filling for next time (too sweet), but the crust is a winner.

Persimmon, plum & blueberry pie 

  • 1 double crust pie dough (recipe below)
  • 6 medium sized plums
  • 3 persimmons 
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornflour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • Extra caster sugar for sprinkling on top of the crust
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C 
  2. Dice the plums and persimmons and mix with the blueberries, sugar, cornflour, vanilla, and milk in a large bowl
  3. Roll out the prepared pie crust: turn each disc onto a lightly floured surface, roll out to a circle slightly larger than the size of the pie dish so you have a bit of overhang.
  4. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and roll out the second disc of dough over the top, prick the crust to create air vents, then brush with milk and sprinkle the extra sugar
  5. Bake the pie for 60 – 75 minutes 

Double crust pie dough 

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 180g chilled butter, cut into cubes
  • 6 – 8 tbsp cold water
  1. If you don’t suffer from having too warm hands like I do: whisk the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl, rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture is very coarse and stir in cold water with a fork until the dough almost comes together into a bowl. Don’t dump all the water in at one go cos you may not need all of it
  2. But for less mess and ease, use a food processor: Pulse the flour, sugar and salt for a few seconds then pulse in all the butter at once until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Slowly trickle in the water, a tablespoon at a time until it begins to form a ball then remove the dough
  3. Divide the dough in two, form into discs with your hands and wrap each disc in cling wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight and pull it out to thaw for a bit before rolling out

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