Hello again! It’s been quite a long time. But here I am, back with new recipes!
It’s beginning to feel a lot like fall – which means my un-air-conditioned apartment is just about comfortable to bake in again. My landlord has an Italian plum tree in our garden and I’ve been waiting 2 years to remember to pick plums when they’re right at that perfect stage of ripeness. Today, I braved the bees beginning to nest in half rotten plums to pick a basket full.
My grandmother used to make a phenomenal plum pie – the inspiration for my current recipe. Like all aspiring baking bloggers, I take inspiration where I find it – often from the internet. The crust today comes from David Lebovitz, the filling is a hodge podge of ideas from Martha Stewart, Allrecipes, and what I was able to find in my kitchen cupboards…
Plum Tarts (*practically perfect…)
6 1/3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup of flour
Optional: 1 tsp Cake Spice (a mix of cinnamon, anise, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and cloves from Penzey’s)
Put all but the flour and spice in an oven safe bowl. Place bowl in pre-heated 420F oven for 15 minutes. The butter should be bubbling and starting to brown a little. Immediately stir in flour and spice until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the bowl. Divide evenly into 12 small tart pans (approx. 3 inch diameter) and flatten slightly. Allow it to cool enough to mold with your bare hands. Press the dough into the molds and prick all over with a fork. Bake for ~5 minutes.
Plum Tart filling
40 Italian plums (small, firm fruits)
6 Tbsp. Lemon Curd
1/4 cup raw honey
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
While the tart crusts are cooling, turn the oven down to 325F.
Cut plums in half – remove the pits. Slice each half into quarters.
Spread 1/2 Tbsp of lemon curd in the bottom of each crust (or more – they’re your tarts).
Arrange slices of plums evenly in the tarts – however prettily you feel like. I tried making mine very pretty and gave up on about half of them.
Microwave honey with spices for about 20 seconds, stir, then using a small pastry brush, glaze the plums generously.
Bake tarts at 325F for about 15 minutes. The plums should be tender.
Allow tarts to cool fully before eating.
*Mine came out delicious but a bit juicier than expected. The crust seemed a little thin and soft on the bottom – I probably should have made 10 tarts and baked the crusts a few minutes longer.