A Tart is Born
Well, I stayed true to my promise and made my first tart today. I decided on a plum tart for my friend Kate’s birthday picnic tomorrow afternoon. After researching several recipes, I chose one from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. It is a pretty simple recipe of brown sugar, walnuts, butter and plums and the whole process was much easier than I anticipated. Partial credit for that must go to the fancy mixer, which I finally got to use. I love it. I can’t imagine baking without it. For the sake of full disclosure, I should admit that I’ve never been much of a baker – to the point where friends/family have more than once suggested that I NOT bake. Well, be damned! I am baking…
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (I used brown rice flour – worked quite well)
- 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.
**My plums were not as ripe as they should be so I found a little tip online to ripen plums. Place them in a brown bag with a ripe banana overnight. This basically did the trick but I decided to add a little lemon juice, raw sugar and cinnamon to the plum mixture before placing onto the crust.