Summertime Plum Hand Pies

Plum Hand Pies from Sippity Sup

Plum Hand Pies

It’s been a while since I brought something sweet to this table. It’s summertime and many of my favorite stone fruits are ripe and ready for the picking. These plum hand pies came about because I’ve been trying to educate myself a little bit about plums lately. Plums vary in taste (sweet or tart) and texture (firm and crisp or soft and juicy). So you have to know a little something when looking around for the best you can find.

This shouldn’t be a difficult task this time of year. I live in Southern California. We grow some of the best plums in the world. So you’d think you could pop into any grocery store and pick a peck of plums, head home a make really terrific plum hand pies. But that’s not necessarily the case. According to David Karp there’s a category of plums known as “shipping plums”. Shipping plums are bred and grown to be sent somewhere across the globe. Someplace where plums either don’t grow or are out of season. These are the disappointing plums you’ve come across in your life. Hiromi Red, Fortune, and Friar are examples of shipping plums.

It might shock you to know that even here in California (even in plum season) large chains often sell shipping plums because it’s part of some messed up supply chain. It’s a system that ends up shipping fruits and vegetables from far away to Southern California– one of the most prolific farming regions in this country. That’s so messed up and I can’t quite understand why they do it. But it’s true.

I want my plum hand pies to be as good as they can be. This is why I feel the need to arm myself with some information about which are the good eating plums. Everyone knows plum hand pies are only as good as your plums. David Karp suggests these varieties from farmers near here: “Burgundy (dark maroon skin and flesh; available from Arnett, Cirone, and Honey Crisp); Satsuma (speckled skin, red flesh; from Garcia Organic, Tenerelli, and Rieger); Mariposa (speckled skin, red flesh; from Mud Creek, Truman Kennedy, Burkart and Cirone); Laroda (purple skin, amber flesh, rich flavor; from Asdoorian, Burkart and Tenerelli); and Wickson and Kelsey (green, yellow or red skin, depending on ripeness; from Truman Kennedy, Olson, Arnulfo Garcia, K&K Ranch). In early August comes Elephant Heart, with speckled skin and deep purple flesh, from Kennedy, Rieger, and Cirone.”


plum hand pies from Sippity Sup

Plum Hand Pies 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 8Published
Plum Hand Pies


  • Pie Pastry (enough to to make 1 double-crust 10-Inch pie)
  • flour (for rolling, as needed)
  • 2 cup pitted and sliced plums
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (finely grated)
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 egg (beaten with 1 teaspoon water, as egg wash)
  • 2 tablespoon turbinado sugar (for sprinkling)


Prepare Pie Pastry recipe of your choice. Divide dough in half, shape into 2 discs about 5‑inches in diameter and 3/4‑inch thick. Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days), or freeze up to 1 month.

On a lightly floured surface use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out one disc of chilled dough to a 12 or 13-inch round, a generous 1/8‑inch thick. Cut out four 6‑inch rounds, using a round cutter or appropriately-sized saucer and knife. Gather scraps and re-roll as needed so you can get 4 rounds. Repeat with other disc of dough. Lay the 8 rounds out evenly spaced on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 20 minutes and up to 8 hours.

Make the filling: In a large bowl, mix together sliced plums, granulated sugar, orange juice and zest, salt, and cornstarch; mix until well combined. Set aside about 20 minutes..

Place the oven racks in the top and center positions. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Spoon a generous ¼ cup plum filling onto each round mounding in the center, leaving a 1‑inch border all around. Don’t overfill or they will be difficult to seal. Brush edges lightly with egg wash. Carefully bring both sides up and towards center so they meet at top forming a football shape. Pinch edges together to seal. Then decoratively crimp or scallop edges as you like. Leave pasty sitting with decorative edge facing up. Brush with more egg wash. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Make 2 small slashes in crust with the point of a sharp knife to allow steam to escape. Repeat with remaining dough rounds. Refrigerate on baking sheets until chilled, about 20 minutes.

Bake in heated oven for 10 minutes, then lower temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake 15 to 20 more minutes until deeply golden, switching trays between racks halfway through the process. Serve hot or at room temperature.