Plum season doesn't last for long, but I can't resist the juicy little fruits while they last. They're great simply sliced and eaten as a snack, but when I get a big batch I love baking them into a tart.
I received a copy of The Homemade Kitchen for free, in exchange for my honest opinion.
Today's recipe comes from The HOMEMADE KITCHEN: Recipes for Cooking with Pleasure by Alana Chernila...my new favorite cookbook! It's right off the cover, actually. Which is ironic, because I'd actually bookmarked dozens of other recipes to make before trying the plum tart. Stuffed winter squash, roasted potato salad, cinnamon swirl bread...they all make my mouth water just thinking about them. I love the authors straightforward, inspirational approach to cooking, and the book is filled with fun quotes like "Do your best and then let go" or "Slow down" that she has posted around her own kitchen as well. The recipes are simple, rustic, and just polished enough to be perfect for guests. In short, its my new fav!
To get a feel for the recipes, I've made the Plum Tart. My plums were a little under-ripe - which is why I decided to bake them - so I added a pinch of sugar to the halves. I definitely recommend waiting for ripe, juicy plums if you can. Otherwise, even my under-ripe plums turned into a tasty dessert that reminded me of a pie stand in Vermont we stopped at once on a road trip.
Quoted directly from The HOMEMADE KITCHEN, from page 298 (photos are from my kitchen):
Makes one 9- or 10-inch tart
My two plum trees are the heroes of my little front-yard orchard every year. One of the varieties is called Alderman, and if we wait till they're ripe, the big, juicy fruit come clean away from their center stones. These are my favorite plums for tarts and cakes, and as plum season comes to an end, we freeze hundreds of plums in freezer bags, so we can have tarts all winter.
This recipe is adapted from a wonderful tart made by Marianti Asymyadia for the Istanbul Organic Market. She was kind enough to share her recipe with me, and it's been helping me through every plum season ever since. I prefer to use smaller plums for this tart, as the cook quickly. If you're using larger or off-season plums, expect the tart to bake a little longer.
8 tablespoons (1 stick / 115 g) cold butter, cubed, plus additional for greasing the pan
2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling the dough
1/3 cup (65 g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
3 to 5 tablespoons ice water
8 to 12 ripe plums (depending on their size), halved and pitted
1/4 cup (23 g) sliced, blanched almonds
1 tablespoon turbinado or other coarse sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease a 9- or 10-inch tart pan.
2. Combine the flour, butter, granulated sugar, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs. Add the egg an dpulse one more time. Then, pulsing after each addition, add 1 tablespoon of ice water at a time, stopping when the dough is smooth and just a bit sticky. It will be wetter than what you'd expect from a piecrust. Gather the dough up in to a ball and wrap it in plastic. Let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, and as long as 2 days.
3. Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it's 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick. Transfer to the prepared pan, trimming off any excess. (If you have enough extra crust and you have a mini-tart pan, make a smaller tartlet as well.) Lay the plums flesh side down on the crust in a single layer. Top with the blanched almonds and turbinado sugar. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet until the crust starts to brown and the plums begin to collapse and release juice, 30 to 40 minutes. The top will be filled with juice when you take it out of the oven. Let the tart sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes before you lift the tart away from the sides of the pan and cut into it. The plums will reabsorb their juice during this time.
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I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinions.