Ever thought of making a fruit crumble in tart form? The very best answer is plum tart! Perfectly ripe summer plums nestled under a crispy, crunchy, buttery lid is all I ever need in a summer dessert.
This time of year always causes me some internal conflict. I’m dying for warmly spiced food that comes with chilly and crisp fall days like apple slab pie, crumb bars, rustic tarts, and harvest salads. And at the same time, it’s really difficult to leave all that amazing summer produce behind! I mean, grilled farmer’s market pizza? Blueberry ricotta galettes? BLT panzanella salad? Man!
So…stone fruit is sort of the perfect bridge between the two seasons and since peak stone fruit season here in New England happens in late summer, peaches and plums are fantastic choices for baking during this time of year. Enter this Italian plum tart.
The sweetest of plums are nestled inside a double-duty dough that you’ll make once and use for both the bottom crust and top buttery, crumbly layer. I’ve had my eye on this tart for many years and it certainly lived up to my late-summer baking dreams. With desserts like this one, apples and pumpkin may just be waiting a little longer in this house!
Italian Plum Tart
- Prep Time: 25min
- Cook Time: 1hr 5min
- Yield: 8 servings
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp baking powder
12 oz Italian plums, halved and pitted
2 tbsp Minute tapioca or 3 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp brandy
1 ¾ cups sugar, divided
8 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
Ice cold water
Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan. If you don’t have a springform pan, use a 9-inch cake pan instead. Place the pan on a baking sheet.
Whisk the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder together in a small bowl; set aside.
Cut the plum halves in half again and toss them in a medium bowl with the tapioca/cornstarch, brandy, and ¾ cup of the sugar; set aside for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the dough. Beat the butter and remaining sugar together until light and fluffy, about 1 minute at medium-high speed. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients and stir just until it starts to come together. Add 1 tablespoon of the water and stir the mixture for about 30 seconds, until it becomes crumbly and just holds together when lightly squeezed. If the mixture still seems a little dry at this point, stir in another tablespoon of water.
Reserve about 1 cup of the dough on the side and press the remaining dough into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer and working the dough about 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Pour the fruit mixture evenly over the dough (or neatly arrange the plums in concentric circles if you want the tart a little less “rustic”). Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the fruit.
Bake for 55 – 65 minutes, until the fruit is bubbly and the crust is golden brown. Cool the tart for 15 minutes before running a knife around the inside edge and removing the sides of the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature with or without ice cream. Vanilla and cinnamon vanilla bean are perfect choices here, especially if you’re into making your own, though we ate ours with a local crème fraîche ice cream I found recently and we were not at all disappointed.
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