Sift flour and cut butter into small piece and add to the flour. Start cutting the butter into the flour using two knives.
Add sugar and lemon rind and quickly rub the butter with the tips of your fingers into the flour until it starts to look a bit crumbly.
Lightly beat the egg with some salt and add it to the crumbly mixture.
Quickly kneed the dough into a ball. Don’t overwork the mixture, it should still be a little crumbly.
Rest the dough in the fridge for half an hour.
In a saucepan, add plums, lemon peels, cherry brandy and water on a low heat and let it simmer very slowly. This can take about 20-30 minutes. Make sure to check every now and then to make sure the water hasn’t evaporated too quickly in which case you will need to add a little more water to make sure the mixture doesn’t dry out.
When the plums have softened and the water hasn’t evaporated completely mix the cornstarch with a little bit of water and add to the plum mixture.
Leave to simmer for a couple more minutes and mix well to combine. Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool before use. The mixture should be nice and slushy by now.
Cut strips of parchment paper of 0.4inch by 1.6inch. Place them in a cross in a lightly buttered muffin tin.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll out 2/3 of the dough till about 0.16inch thick.
Cut out circles slightly bigger than the circles of your muffin tin and place them in the muffin tin on top of the crossed strips of parchment paper. Make sure the top of the strips stick out on top.
Lightly sprinkle some custard powder onto the dough in the muffin tin (optional) and fill with the plum mixture.
Roll out the left over piece of dough and cut into strips. Place the strips on top of the plum mixture.
Brush the pies with a little bit of a lightly beaten egg and place into a preheated oven (180°C/360°F).
Bake the pies 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Take the pies out of the muffin tin using the strips of parchment paper and leave to cool on a wire rack. When the pies have cooled down remove the baking strips.
The water for the plums is an estimation. The mixture should eventually end up in a soft slushy consistency. Just add more water if needed.
When the circles of dough start to break, don’t panic. You can easily patch it back together again in the muffin tin. The circle is only a guide to make sure you have roughly the same amount of dough for each of your pies.
The custard powder used in this recipe is optional. If you don’t have that available you can skip this step.