Plum Tart

Well folks, today’s the day. I’m taking of for two very long weeks in Europe! My itinerary includes England, Belgium, Paris and Stuttgart. I can’t wait to romp around my favorite cities in the world and visit with friends I haven’t seen in years. I’ve had the wonderful fortune to live abroad a couple of times, and am ecstatic to have built friendships and connections to places that have lasted this long.

While I do plan to be able to do a bit of blogging (and a LOT of photographing), I figured I’d send off one last post before I go. For some reason I became rather obsessed with the idea of making a plum tart a couple of weeks ago. I finally made it come to life last weekend, and was very pleased with the results. A homemade crust and simple preparation of the plums with lemon and sugar is the perfect dressing up for these little stone fruits. I have come to realize that tarts of this kind are some of my favorite. You could really sub any fruit in the middle of this and be left with a very natural, and somewhat rustic, elevation of the fruit. You must try this while it’s still stone fruit season.

So I guess that’s it… In just a couple of hours I’ll be on a brand new journey, taking me to familiar lands and faces, but with brand new adventures to come.

Cheers, au revoir, tschuss!

before & after

Plum Tart – from epicurious, here

Dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick + 1 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/24 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 2 large egg yolks

Combine flour, butter, sugar, salt, and zest in a food processor and pulse until most of mixture resembles coarse meal with remainder in small (roughly pea-size) lumps. Add yolks and process just until incorporated and mixture begins to clump.

Turn mixture out onto a work surface and divide into 2 portions. Smear each portion once with heel of your hand in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather together portions of dough and form into a ball.

Pat out each ball of dough with floured fingertips into a tart pan, in an even 1/4-inch layer on bottom and up sides (about 1/8 inch above rim). Chill 30 minutes, or until firm.

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1.5-2 lb small plums (preferably prune plums), halved and pitted
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Make filling while shell chills – Stir together sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Add plums and lemon juice and toss to coat. Let stand, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes, or until juicy.

Assemble and bake tart:
Preheat oven to 425°F.

Arrange plum halves, skin sides down, in tart shell, overlapping in a rosette pattern (see photo, opposite). Halve any remaining plums lengthwise and randomly tuck in between plum halves in tarts. Pour all juices from bowl over plums.

Bake tart in middle of oven 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375°F. Cover tart loosely with foil and bake until plums are tender and juices are bubbling and slightly thickened, 40 to 50 minutes more. Brush warm juices in tart over plums. (Juices will continue to thicken as tarts cool.) Cool tarts completely in pans on a rack. [Recommend putting a cookie sheet on shelf under tart incase it overflows]

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