I picked up a box of big purple plums at Costco last week, but they weren't quite ripe yet. Suddenly it became clear that when they did get ripe, they'd all be ready at once. Yikes...there must have been 20 of them!
Even if you're not much for desserts, you might like something sweet and fruity for breakfast. Here's a recipe for a simple plum tart. It's fabulous with a good steaming cup of coffee.
Make a single pie crust, or you could use a frozen one. It's easy to make, though, and flakier:
- Put one cup all-purpose flour in a medium bowl with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix it up with a fork.
- Put an ice cube into 1/2 cup cold water and set it aside till you need it.
- Cut up 6 tablespoons cold butter in little pieces.
- Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender until it resembles course meal. Some small pieces of butter should still be visible.
- Add some of the ice water to the flour and butter, mixing with the fork until it just holds together. You probably won't use all the water.
Gather the dough into a rough ball with your hands and wrap it tightly in cling film, pressing it down to flatten it a little. Put it in the refrigerator to rest and chill for 1 hour, or in the freezer for 20 minutes. [It could also be refrigerated overnight (not in the freezer though!) if you want to eat quicker in the morning. Take it out first thing in the morning, before you do the plums, if you do this.]
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Meanwhile, seed 4 large or 5 medium plums and cut them into slices. It's better if they're not quite ripe. Toss them with a little sugar and whatever else you want...some chopped candied ginger and grated orange peel is good. You could use raisins or dried cranberries instead also.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator or freezer. Put a sheet of parchment down on your rolling surface and discard the cling film. Lightly flour the parchment and the top of the disk of dough. Roll it out until it is fairly thin and more or less circular. Carefully brush off extra flour and transfer the dough-laden parchment to a big cookie sheet.
Pile the plums in the center of the crust, fanning the slices out until you have about 2 inches still free all around the edges. Fold those edges of dough back up over the plums...they'll only come up partway leaving the center beautifully plummy.
Brush the foldover dough with 2 tablespoons melted butter, dripping any remaining over the center plums. Sprinkle all with about 2 tablespoons sugar.
Bake at 400 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the tart is lightly browned. Let cool for 10 minutes or so before digging in. This is a perfect time to put the coffee on. Yum!!