Who says you have to wait until summer to enjoy an amazing fruit tart?
Maybe it was the snow storm we had on Monday. Or maybe it was the fact that Wiarton Willy predicted an early spring. I really felt the need to bake with fresh fruit!
What is it about a snow day that seems to give you a burst of energy. If it was a work day, by 3 pm I would have been yawning and thinking about getting home for a nap.
But Monday, the first real snow storm of the season, I was up and had made pastry dough and was out shovelling by 8 AM! Since Tim was in bed with the flu and my brother, who happens to live right down the street, is recovering from surgery I decided to try my hand at using the snow blower. It didn’t go well.
Lets just say I am better left making fresh fruit tarts in the middle of winter! Which is exactly what I did. After I shovelled the entire driveway and front walk. In 60 km an hour wind. While it was still snowing. I have to admit, Marlie did come out and help.
Plums are not in season in Ontario in February, but I was happy they were available none-the-less. A smaller prune plum works best, but I wasn’t complaining. The big juicy plums I was able to get worked perfectly fine. I just cut them smaller.
The short pastry dough is quick and easy to make in an electric mixer. After chilling for a couple of hours it was ready to roll out and is the perfect pastry for tarts with juicy fruit.
A ruffled edge tart pan with a removable bottom works best for a tart like this. After the pastry is pressed into the tart pan and the edges are trimmed level with the edge of the pan, it is time to fill with prepared plums which have been washed thoroughly, dried and pretty much quartered or even cut in six for the larger ones.
Arrange the plums however you like. There is just something “artful” about a fruit tart no matter how it comes together.
How I wanted to just dig into the tart while it was still warm from the oven! But photo’s needed to be taken, and another couple of inches of snow had accumulated.
It was back out to the cold to keep ahead of the snow plow, which was sure to be by through the night to clear the street and hence plow a big pile of any un-shovelled snow right at the bottom of the driveway!
Back inside, the house still smelled of fresh baked tart. And it was well worth the wait! Sweet, juicy and slightly tart (pardon the pun!) Even though I hadn’t quite thawed out myself, I couldn’t resist a big scoop of strawberry ice cream to go with my warmed up slice of plum tart.
Until next time….,
- For the Short Pastry
- 1 stick butter (4 ounces) diced small
- 2 cups all purpose flour (250 grams)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar (40 grams)
- 1/2 cup water (125 mls)
- For the filling
- 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs, ground fine (50 grams)
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds prune plums, or any other plum of your choice (500 grams)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- For Short Pastry (Prepare in advance)
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine butter, flour, salt and sugar on low speed until it resembles fine crumbs. (You can also use a wooden spoon or just your hands if you prefer not to use a mixer)
- Add the water to the crumbly mixture and mix on low just until the dough comes together.
- Remove from the bowl and wrap in plastic wrap, forming a round disc.
- Place in the refrigerator and chill for about 2 hours.
- To Assemble Tart
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
- Roll out chilled dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8th of an inch. Transfer to tart pan with removable bottom, trimming edges, and pricking the bottom of the tart all over with a fork.
- Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over prepared crust evenly. (Bread crumbs help to protect the shell from moisture of the plums as they cook, allowing it to stay crisp.
- If plums are small cut them in half, otherwise cut into quarters or even into 8ths depending on their size. Make a small slit at the end of each plum slice.
- Arrange plums over breadcrumbs covering the entire surface.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until fruit is tender and tart is nicely golden.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving.