Sunday is farmer's market day in my neighborhood. The weather in D.C. has been unbelievably sunny, crisp, and gorgeous lately; and the vendors at the market are selling the last of their summer harvest. I took advantage of the last of this season's plums and also bought some amazing fresh whole milk ricotta cheese from Keswick Creamery.
I made up this recipe on the fly as an experiment. I wasn't sure if lavender and plums go together, nor have I ever made anything with lavender before. The result is an unusual combination that works well together. Fresh figs could easily be substituted for the plums.
In the end, next time I will make this pie just as is but without the lavender. If you are feeling adventurous though, I would definitely give the lavender a try!
P.S. One of these days I will post a detailed tutorial on how to make this pie crust. It's an amazing pie crust and is pretty easy to handle; another one of those reliable recipes that has been passed on in our family.
Ricotta Plum Pie with Lavender and Honey
1 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 tsp. dried lavender
2 egg yolks
3 Tbs. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Fruit and Topping:
6 or 7 plums, sliced (8 slices per plum)
2 Tbs. white sugar
2 or 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 or 3 Tbs. honey
1 cup flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbs. cold water
With a fork, mix together flour, oil and salt until a crumbly mixture forms. Sprinkle cold water over mixture. Combine the water and flour/oil mixture just until barely incorporated. After the point where you add the water, mix as little as possible. The less you mix, the more flaky the crust will be. Form into a ball, you should be able to see white ribbons in the dough where the oil and water are immiscible (I just learned this word). Set aside.
Heat oven to 400F. To make the filling, place ricotta, egg yolk, honey and vanilla extract in a medium bowl and whisk until evenly combined. Add dried lavender and whisk again until well combined.
Now form the crust. To do this place plastic wrap flat down on a damp counter. Place the ball of pie dough in the middle and flatten a little. Place anther piece of plastic wrap over dough. With a rolling pin, roll out dough into a circle slightly larger than the pie pan. Place dough into pie pan; roll edges and pinch with fingers to make a ruffled edge. Spoon ricotta mixture onto the pie shell and even out with the back of a spoon or spatula.
Gently mix together sliced plums and white sugar, let sit for 5 or 10 minutes. Neatly arrange the plums on top of the filling in a circular pattern, or however you see fit. Drizzle honey and lemon juice over plums.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the crust is a light golden color. Let cool completely before serving. Goes well with a cup of tea or coffee!
UPDATE: Julie had a brilliant suggestion for next time: simmering the lavender in the honey and then straining it out so that there would be the lavender essence but not the lavender bits in the filling.