This pie took ages for me to attempt simply because I had never made a braided pie before. And let me tell you it took me three attempts to get those braids right every time.
Now if you have read my previous recipes you already know how to make a pie dough. If not then I will write a basic recipe only on making a pie dough.
For the braids ensure your dough is very cold. Best to cut your dough into two parts when you put it in the fridge. If your dough is coming apart put it back for half an hour and then attempt the braids. For making braids it’s simple cut three equal strings of pie and then press them with cold water on the top and heb go one over the other and then the third lace comes over both. Now cutting flowers was easy you get these cutters on Amazon and they are pretty cheap. Just press and remove the flower from a circular pie dough that’s 1mm thick.
For the compote.
Cut five big plums and use 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar and 1 tbsp cornstarch and let them simmer on low heat on a saucepan. Once it comes to jam like consistency remove it from heat. Let it come down to room temperature. Take one half of the dough and flour the working surface and your rolling pin then press it into a 1 mm thickness. Use a scale for even baking. Make sure the dough is still cold and then put it over the tart tray with removable bottom. Press it down gently let it come out over the sides. Take a knife and cut the excess dough on the sides. Then fill it with compote and add in nuts of your choice. Now you can use roasted Nuts for extra flavour. I used pre packaged roasted nuts to get an extra crunchy flavour. Then use the other half of the dough to cover the top. Put flowers in last using cold water. Take a pastry brush and brush the top with egg wash make sure that the egg wash doesn’t go into the pie filling. Sprinkle some granulated sugar for extra crunch. Bake for 25 minutes with alluminium foil covering your pie.
Yes big news! Many recipes out there don’t tell you this. And what happens is you get a half baked pie with the bottom part of the pie being soggy and top part too brown. I learnt it the hard way. Now you can thank me later for letting you in on the secret most pastry chef use to get that extra crunchy bottom and even baked pies.
Bake the pie for 45 to 55 minutes in a preheated oven at 180 degrees. Turn the heat down when you remove the foil after 25 minutes to 150. That is the magic number. The slow heat will make sure that your pie is baked through without getting the top part burnt beyond saving.
Serve it hot.
Important point to note: please find your oven temperature. Always remember that no oven gives the same temperature as the manual says. It’s always 10 degrees higher or lower. Buy an oven thermometer to find out. My oven is on the lower side so 190 degrees actually gives me 180 degrees of baking. Now you can understand why your cakes and pies are not getting baked properly.