This report has been brought to you from a special place where we had no internet, only 2 and a half TV channels, intermediate phone service, and issues with water pressure… Yet, the 3 weeks we spent there are beating all the awesomeness charts! In June I gulped a can of courage pills, loaded my 4 and 2 year-olds on an airplane, waved bye bye to the husband, and took the kids on a 30-something hour trip to my homeland!
So, here are some shots and recipes from our visit to Russia, where my children were running in my grandmother’s garden, in the house where my mother was born, where I spent so many happy days, and where you don’t need special photo props to give recipes a hint of old country.
Plum Pie Filling
I used the flaky dough from the previous post and filled it up with fresh plums to make this delicious pie. We served it cold with ice cream and I barely had a minute to take a few shots before it disappeared!
2 ½ pounds plums, washed, pitted and quartered
3/4 cup granulated sugar plus more for sprinkling
Zest of one orange
Juice of ½ orange
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
- Egg wash
1 tsp water
- Prepare the dough as directed in the Flaky Pie Dough recipe up to step 5. Roll the refrigerated disks on a floured service one at a time to 1/8 inch thickness. Fill the pie dish with the first disk and refrigerate (without cutting the edges). Roll the second disk, place it on a floured baking pan, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Make the filling: wash, pit, and quarter the plums. Mix them up with the remaining ingredients. Fill the pie with the plums and refrigerate while working with the second disk.
- Cut the disk into at least 15 ½-inch-wide strips using a fluted pastry cutter or a sharp knife.
- Lay 8 strips across pie. Lay lattice pattern on top of the pie. Press together the edges of the pie with a fork and trip the crusts to a 1-inch overhang. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190° C).
- Make egg wash: beat up the egg with water.
- Brush crust with egg wash, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake pie on middle rack, with a foil-lined baking sheet on bottom rack to catch juices for about 1 ½ hours. The mixture inside should be bubbling in center when the pie is done. Loosely tent with foil after 1 hour if the edges start browning too soon. Transfer pie to a wire rack and let cool for 2 hours before serving.
- Keep the dough refrigerated between the recipe steps to get the flakiest crust
My son met my babushka, godmother, and two aunts. All these ladies were introduced to him as babas. One evening I asked him, “Who do you love?”
“Mommy, daddy, Pea, baba… [silence] … baba …. Baba…. Baba… baba…. Baba…. “