Purple PLUM



Italian prune plums are a purple-skinned, elongated, almost egg-shaped fruit with pale flesh that is denser than your average plum. The fresh fruits are quite tart and so are ideal for pie. In this one, the plums are frozen and thawed, which accomplishes two things it softens the fruits and it releases juice from the plums. That plum juice is combined with pureed blueberries for an explosion of purple fruit flavor. If you can’t find the plums in your market, apricots are a reasonable (but not actually purple) substitute.



Pie dough for a Deep-Dish Single Crust (this page)  

9½-inch deep-dish pie plate 

8½-inch tart ring 

Pie crust shield or foil (see this page) 



GRAHAM-BLUEBERRY TOPPING (can be made and frozen up to 2 weeks ahead)

Freeze-dried blueberries1 cup1 ounce28 grams

Graham crackers7 sheets4 ounces113 grams

Unsalted butter, softened5 tablespoons2.5 ounces71 grams

Egg1 large

Light corn syrup1 tablespoon

White chocolate, melted3 ounces85 grams


Italian prune plums, pitted, sliced, and frozen (from approximately 2½ pounds whole)5½ cups34 ounces964 grams

Blueberries2 cups10 ounces283 grams

Vanilla extract2 teaspoons

Fresh lemon juice1 teaspoon

Tapioca starch2 tablespoons0.5 ounce15 grams

Cornstarch2 tablespo

ons0.55 ounce15 grams

Sugar1 cup7 ounces200 grams

Salt⅛ teaspoon

Ground cinnamon¼ teaspoon


Purple Royal Icing (this page), at a honey consistency1 recipe

MAKE THE GRAHAM-BLUEBERRY TOPPING: Process the freeze-dried blueberries in the bowl of a food processor until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add the graham crackers, butter, egg, corn syrup, and melted white chocolate. Process until a thick paste forms. Place an 8½-inch tart ring on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat. Alternatively, draw an 8½-inch circle on a piece of parchment and flip it over on the baking sheet (so you can still see the circle but won’t get ink on your food). Using an offset spatula, spread the blueberry graham paste evenly inside the mold/circle, getting it as smooth and level as you can. Place the pan in the freezer for at least 4 hours, until frozen solid. Or prepare the topping up to 2 weeks in advance. Once frozen, it can be unmolded, wrapped in plastic wrap, and stored in the freezer until you are ready to make the pie. 

PARTIALLY BLIND-BAKE THE CRUST: Follow the instructions on this page. The pie will bake longer after the filling is added, so it should not be completely browned at this point. Remove the pie dish from the oven, set it on a wire cooling rack, and remove the foil or parchment and pie weights. Keep the oven at 350°F. 

MAKE THE FILLING: Thaw the plums in a colander placed inside a large bowl to collect the juices and set aside. Puree the blueberries in a food processor. Pour the blueberry puree into a 2-cup measuring cup. Add the vanilla, lemon juice, and enough of the plum juice to make 1½ cups. Pour the liquid into a medium saucepan. Stir in the tapioca starch and cornstarch along with the sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Bring the mixture to a boil to thicken it. (Note that the tapioca starch starts to thicken at a slightly lower temperature than cornstarch. You may notice streaks of thickened juice in the liquid—don’t worry, this is the tapioca starch thickening first.) As the liquid comes to a boil, the cornstarch will thicken, too. The liquid will transform from thin and cloudy into a rich, clearer dark gel. Remove from the heat and fold in the thawed plums, then transfer this mixture to the partially blind-baked and still hot pie crust. 

FINISH THE ASSEMBLY AND BAKE: Remove the frozen disc of topping from the freezer. Peel the silicone mat/parchment off the mold. Using your thumbs, carefully press the disc out from the tart ring and place it on the surface of the filled pie, smooth side facing up. Cover the edges of the pie with a pie crust shield and bake on the middle oven rack until the topping puffs a bit, browns slightly, and sets, about 35 minutes. 

Remove the pie from the oven, place on a cooling rack, and allow the pie to cool completely, at least 4 hours. 

DECORATE THE PIE: Brush aside all thoughts of eventual cleanup and fling spoonfuls of the purple Royal Icing across the top of the pie using a spoon and an almost carefree sense of joy. This pie should be served when it has cooled to room temperature. (Leftovers can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days.) 

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