Friday, February 23, 2007

Italian Plum Tart

Like all cooks, there are recipes that I try that are not a success. For example, last August I purchased a bunch of Italian plums, and time got away from me. So, after a week or so, I was faced with a bunch of plums that had to be used up, and little time to cook.
As is often the case, I turned to Ina Garten.
She has a simple Plum Tart recipe that can be put together quickly. It looked beautiful, but I have to say that for the first time, I was disappointed with one of her recipes. There was too much crumb topping, and the whole thing wasn't as flavorful as I'd hoped. If I make it again, I'm going to use different fruit, and less topping. I would also consider spreading a jam layer in the bottom of the crust, and adding some lemon juice. It could have been the plums, which weren't very tasty raw, but cooking fruit usually remedies that problem, bringing out previously hidden flavors.
You may have better plums at your disposal, and better luck than I did. So, I present you with . . .
Italian Plum Tart
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), diced
  • 1 egg yolk 2 pounds firm, ripe Italian prune plums, pitted and quartered lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the flour, walnuts, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter and the egg yolk. Mix, either by hand or with an electric mixer, until crumbly. Press 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture in an even layer into the bottom of a 9 1/2-inch springform or tart pan. Arrange the plums in the pan, skin side down, to form a flower pattern; begin at the outside and work your way in. Sprinkle the rest of the crumb mixture evenly over the plums.

Bake the tart for 40 to 50 minutes, or until it's lightly browned and the plum juices are bubbling. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer the tart to a flat plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Anonymous rowena said...

I'm convinced that the problem was the plums. If they aren't good raw, they won't be that much better cooked. I had a similiar problem when I put them in a cake!

The plums that drive me mad are those little yellow ones the size of cherries. They're called Mirabelles and are abundant in Alsace/Lorraine during July and August. I think if those were ever cultivated in Hawaii, they'd be the talk of the town and put Kauai's Kokee plums to shame!

P.S. I was hoping you'd post your celebrity matches!

February 24, 2007 4:14 PM  
Blogger Madam Chow said...

ACH! No way am I posting my matches! And thank you for the advice on the plums. I think this year I'll try the tart again, only I'll get the plums from the local farmer's market. They are actually pretty hard to find in this area.

February 25, 2007 10:11 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I am sorry this tart was not what you had hoped. However, I am a new visitor to your blog and am eager to come back to visit. Thanks!

February 25, 2007 6:17 PM  

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