My family and I typically go apple picking in Michigan every year, and although we still managed to get our hands on some apples, we had the opportunity to pick plums this time around. I had never picked plums before, and even though it’s similar to picking apples, it was fun and exciting because it was a new experience. Plus, I love plums!
The variety available to pick was called Simka, which I had actually never heard of before. The plums are kind of heart shaped with a dark purple skin and a golden flesh. It took some work to find the ripe plums, but we were rewarded when we did. They were so sweet that it was like biting into a honey comb.
The chef in me immediately started to think about what to do with all of these plums. They would be great in a sweet or savory recipe, but then I remembered I had a disk (1/2 recipe) of pie dough in my freezer and that helped me narrow down my options. I immediately wanted to make individual plum tarts, because they look beautiful and are fun to prepare. Plus, everyone loves an individual dessert that’s made just for them.
To make the individual tarts, I prepared the filling first. In a medium-size bowl, I tossed together the sliced plums with sugar to taste and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. The plums were still fairly tart, so I ended up adding close to a cup of sugar. I just kept sprinkling the plums with sugar, tossing them, and tasting them for a nice balance of sweet with a touch of tart.
I then rolled out the disk of dough on a floured surface into roughly a 16-inch square. Using a knife, I trimmed away the ragged edges of the dough, and then cut the dough into 4 squares.
In a small bowl, I mixed together 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. I sprinkled this mixture in the center of each square, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. I did this to help absorb the plum juices and keep the bottom crust crispy, which was very effective.
I then placed about 1/3 cup of the sliced plum filling into the center of each square, once again leaving a 1-inch border along the edges. I made mine pretty rustic by spooning the plums onto the dough, but you can artfully arrange the slices if you like.
I then brushed the edges of the dough (the border) with egg wash, and folded them up to enclose the filling.
I brushed the tarts with more egg wash to give them a shine when baked, and then sprinkled the dough with more sugar.
Into a 400° oven they went until golden brown and crisp, roughly 35 minutes.
While the tarts were cooling, I made some whipped cream to garnish the tops of the tarts. To see the process, scroll down towards the end of my Lemon Mousse Blog for the recipe and a fun time-lapse video.
I decided to get fancy, and make the whipped cream into a quenelle, which resembles the shape of a football. To make a quenelle, dip a metal spoon into a cup of hot water for about 20 seconds. Using the hot spoon, scoop the cream against the side of the bowl so it forms a football shape. You can just as easily use your spoon to dollop the cream. It all tastes yummy, right?
The tarts were a huge success with my official tasting panel (aka my family). The only problem is that I didn’t make more!
The best thing about this dessert is that it works well using any stone fruit, so if you happen to have peaches, nectarines, apricots or cherries on hand, you’re in luck!
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Yield: 4 individual tarts
Active time: 40 minutes
Start to finish: 1 hour, 15 minutes
2 pounds ripe plums, cut into 1/2- to 1/4-inch slices
Granulated sugar to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/2 recipe Pie Dough
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water
Granulated sugar as needed for sprinkling
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400° and line a sheet tray with parchment paper or a silpat.
- To make the fruit filling, toss together the plums, sugar to taste, cinnamon and salt. Note: Add enough sugar to your liking; you want a nice balance of sweet and tart. The amount of sugar added will also depend on the ripeness of your fruit. Set aside.
- On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough into roughly a 16-unch square. Using a knife, cut the ragged edges away, and cut the dough into 4 equal size squares.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Sprinkle this mixture in the center of each square, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges.
- Spoon or artfully arrange the plums into the center of each square.
- Using a pastry brush, brush the edges of the dough with egg wash. Fold up the edges, using more egg wash to seal.
- Transfer the tarts to the prepared sheet tray.
- Brush the tarts with additional egg wash, and sprinkle with sugar. Place one piece of butter in the center of each tart.
- Bake until the dough is golden brown and crisp, and the fruit is bubbling, about 35 minutes. Allow to cool.
- While the tarts are cooling, prepare the whipped cream. In a large bowl, measure together the heavy cream and the powdered sugar. Using a whisk or a handheld mixer, whip the cream until you have medium peaks.
- Top each tartlet with a dollop of the cream, and serve.
This week features our stone fruit private Facebook group challenge, so grab your stone fruit, make something delicious and post it to our social media page. I need inspiration on what to do with all of my plums!