Bookish Bites : Each Peach Pear Plum
Well, the wonderful Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg (Puffin Books) completely lends itself to being a Bookish Bites. I only wish we’d been able to invite all the nursery rhyme characters for a little tea party afterwards.
We begun by reading the book, a book that has been read to Milo since he was very small, that he now knows all the words too off by heart and where everyone is hiding. He especially loves the second to last page.
We throw our hands in the air for EVERYONE!
We use a simple recipe for plum pie and other fruity pies. We start with about 1 kg of fruit, in this case plums stoned and chopped roughly and popped into a thick based saucepan. We then add approximately 150g of sugar to this, caster is fine, but I always use golden caster for most things pudding as I prefer the taste. Bring to the boil and then simmer, not for too long – 10 mins at the most or until the plums are juicy. You can add some cornflour to thicken the juice so your pie isn’t too wet and runny inside.
While you are doing this, get your toddler to crush some cloves using a pestle and mortar. This depends largely on taste but about a teaspoon’s enough for us. Milo loves this process, he is always my go-to-boy for anything that needs grinding into a dust! And it’s great for introducing new textures and smells.
For some reason he was keen to do everything in his high chair while making our plum pie. I tried to encourage him to come and stand with me to roll out pastry, stir the plums, but while interested in making the pie, he was just not wanting to be out of his highchair for some reason. The experience needs to be fun for both of us, so once he was done with the cloves and I’d added them to the plums and sugar, I started him on the decoration for the top of the pie that could be done in his highchair. Pastry star shapes. We just used a pack of shortcrust pastry for our pie.
I then rolled out enough pastry to line our pie dish (actually a roasting dish as we don’t have a pie dish, but you can pretty much make a pie in anything). And added Milo’s stars on top. A little beaten egg and sugar pasted to cover the top and your pie’s ready for the oven. Cook for about 30 mins or until golden brown in an oven preheated to 200 degrees.
Eat! With custard, vanilla custard, whipped cream, single cream, double cream, chocolate sauce, whatever! Just yum!