An Almond-topped Sweet Plum Pie

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - November 01, 2006
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Patricia Luu has been manager of the original Verbano’s Italian Restaurant on Waialae Avenue for the past eight years, and makes sure that each customer is satisfied. The food is cooked to order so they can accommodate special dietary needs.

Patricia and her husband, Kubo, have been married for 14 years; Kubo is the chef at the Pearlridge Vebano’s. They have three children: Kourtney, age 11, Priscilla, age 10, and Kelton, age 5.

This recipe is dedicated to the Luu family.

Here’s a great dessert that would complement an Italian meal; it’s great served with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt!

The plum has been cultivated in many regions of the world since prehistoric times.

The flesh of the plum can vary in color from red or orange, to yellow or greenish yellow. Depending on the variety, the flesh may be more or less fragrant and juicy, sweet or sour, and crisp or mealy textured.

The main producers of plums include the United States, China and Russia. In North America, most of the plums come from California, which produces more than 140 varieties.

When purchasing plums, look for healthy color and a pleasing aroma. They should yield to a slight pressure of the fingertips. Avoid plums that are hard and dull-colored or bruised.

Plums are fairly perishable and can be left out at room temperature if not ripe, but they do ripen quickly. Keep ripe plums refrigerated. Plums also can be frozen, but remove the pits as they will give the flesh a bitter flavor.

Fresh plums can be eaten out of hand or added to fruit salads. Plums can be stewed, made into jams and jellies, or made into sauces for pork, game and poultry. They are also delicious in pies, ice creams, puddings and muffins. They are available canned, dried (prunes), or preserved in vinegar. They also go into the making of juice, brandy and wine.

Plums are a good source of potassium; they also supply vitamin C and riboflavin. Plums are said to be diuretic, laxative and energizing.


* 1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked
* 2 pounds fresh, sweet plums
* 3/4 cup sugar
* raspberry jam
* 1/3 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat pie plate with cooking spray and line with crust. Prick crust with a fork and bake for about 6 minutes. While crust is baking, wash plums, remove pits and cut in slices. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over the bottom of the crust and arrange plum slices evenly in crust. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake in 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until plums are soft and crust is a golden brown. Cool pie and spread top with jam.

Sprinkle with almonds.

Makes about six servings.

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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