Italian Plum AFFOGATO


Alice Medrich has a recipe for Italian prune plums poached in coffee and brandy served over vanilla ice cream. After stumbling across these plums in our farmers’ market, we tried her recipe and decided that this delicious concoction had to be converted into a pie. Thanks Alice! We’re happy to note that these plums have returned to our market every summer. If you can’t find these particular plums, the recipe also works with fresh apricots or thawed frozen sweet cherries.



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

9½-inch deep-dish pie plate 

Immersion circulator with water bath 

Vacuum sealer 

Pie crust shield or foil (see this page) 

Piping bag (see this page) fitted with a Wilton #4B or other large star piping tip 




Heavy cream¾ cup6.15 ounces174 grams

Sugar⅔ cup4.65 oun

ces133 grams

Instant espresso powder2 teaspoons

Vanilla extract1 teaspoon

Mascarpone cheese, cold1 cup8 ounces227 grams


Granny Smith apple1 mediumabout 6.5 ouncesabout 184 grams

Italian prune plums, pitted and sliced (from approximately 2 pounds whole)5 cups30 ounces850 grams

Vanilla extract1 teaspoon

Brandy2 tablespo

ons1 ounce28 grams

Finely ground quick-cooking tapioca, such as Minute2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons1 ounce28 grams

Sugar1 cup7 ounces200 grams

Instant espresso powder2 tablespoons0.25 ounce7 grams

Salt⅛ teaspoon

START THE MASCARPONE TOPPING: In a medium microwave-safe bowl, microwave the cream until it just starts to boil, 1 to 2 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave oven. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla until the sugar and espresso are dissolved. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator until cold, at least 2 hours. 

MAKE THE FILLING: Set up the water bath for your immersion circulator and start heating the water to 150°F (see sous vide instructions on this page). Peel the apple and grate it using the coarse holes of a box grater. Discard the peels and core. Squeeze the grated apple to remove as much of the juice as possible and break up the clump of grated apple inside a large vacuum-sealable bag. Add the sliced plums, vanilla, and brandy to the bag. 

In a small bowl, whisk the tapioca, sugar, espresso powder, and salt until well mixed. Pour this mixture into the vacuum bag, and vacuum-seal it shut. Cook the plums sous vide in the water bath for 1 hour. 

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. 

FILL THE CRUST AND BAKE: Remove the plum bag from the water bath, and dry it off with a kitchen towel. Place a pie crust shield on the pie to prevent splashes. Cut open the bag and pour the filling into the warm crust. Use a bench scraper to get out all the juices. The filling will look quite loose at this point, but don’t worry; it will thicken up in the oven. 

Keep the pie crust shield on and bake on the bottom rack of the oven until the plum filling starts to gently bubble at the edges, about 25 minutes. 

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

ADD THE TOPPING: When ready to serve the pie, complete the filling by adding the mascarpone cheese to the chilled espresso cream. Beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Spread this topping onto the chilled pie and smooth with an offset spatula or pipe it decoratively on top of the pie using the prepared bag. (Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)

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