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.

Italian Plum Tart

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 barsrustic 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!

Italian Plum Tart

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 mid- to late-August, peaches and plums are fantastic choices for baking during this time of year. Enter this Italian plum tart.

The sweetest of late-summer 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. Does it ever get any easier than using a double-duty dough?!

Baked in springform pan, the tart is easy to transfer to a baking rack without invoking a nervous twitch that always occurs when flipping a crumbly cake out of a cake pan. See, I have learned a thing or two over the years!

Italian Plum Tart

The sides of this tart bake up into a completely addictive crunchy, sugary form and if you’re a fan of crispy brownie edges, you’ll LOVE the crust of this plum tart.

I’ve had my eye on this plum tart for many years and it certainly lived up to all of my late-summer baking dreams. With desserts like this one, apples and pumpkin may just be waiting a little longer to make their annual appearance in this house!

The horror!!

. . . . .

More ways to bake with plums!

plum almond tart from Pastry Affair

purple plum torte from Smitten Kitchen (a New York Times Food recipe)

plum cobbler from Food & Wine

late summer plum cake from Once Upon a Chef

plum tart with lemon shortbread crust from Fine Cooking

. . . . .

 

 

 

Italian Plum Tart

  • Prep Time: 25min
  • Cook Time: 1hr 5min
  • Yield: 8 servings

Notes

If you can’t find Italian plums for this plum tart, don’t fret. Other plum varieties will work nicely here too! And unless you plan to serve this tart straight from the pan, consider baking it in a springform pan. Baking it in a cake pan makes transferring the whole tart to a serving platter very difficult.

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • 01

    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.

  • 02

    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.

  • 03

    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.

  • 04

    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.

  • 05

    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.

adapted from How Easy is That? by Ina Garten

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  • September 14, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    Yep, stone fruits are totally the answer! This tart is gorgeous and that topping is to die for!

  • Andrea
    November 8, 2018 at 2:39 PM

    I’m totally unsure as to what I did wrong but my tart stuck to the springform and collapsed when I managed to get it out it collapsed. And it was WAY too sweet! Like not good sweet… maybe our plums should have been more sour?

    • Tara
      November 10, 2018 at 10:40 AM

      Hi Andrea, Do you mean the sides collapsed or the center of the tart collapsed and sunk in? I can’t speak for the sweetness of the plums but they do get sweeter when they are really ripe. The tart dough has a fair amount of sugar in it so it’s important to butter and flour the sides of the pan really well. You can tell from my photos that it did stick to the sides a little but I don’t remember having a terrible time getting it out of the pan.

  • Laurie
    July 5, 2019 at 11:50 PM

    Just made this and it’s great. I’m glad I read the notes. I have a plum tree that is over flowing right now. So I used some really ripe plums and some that were not quite ready. I think I will double the pastry next time too.

    • Tara
      July 8, 2019 at 12:16 PM

      Thanks for coming back to leave a review, Laurie! So glad you enjoyed this tart.

  • Sandra
    September 20, 2019 at 9:30 PM

    Just tried this recipe. Love it! Thank you for the notes super helpful.
    Next time I would use a little less sugar other than that easy to bake and eat!
    Thank you 😁

    • Tara
      September 24, 2019 at 11:20 AM

      Hi Sandra! So happy to hear you love this one and thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a review! Happy baking!

  • Susan
    February 26, 2020 at 10:30 AM

    Smells great! Easy and quick to assemble. I increased the dough by 50%, based upon earlier comments. Can’t wait to serve it to my company tonight!

    • Tara
      March 13, 2020 at 5:46 PM

      Great suggestion!

  • Jo Donohue
    March 13, 2020 at 11:16 PM

    Tart is to die for ! I make it regularly while plums are in season ,one problem 1slice is never enough.

    • Tara
      March 28, 2020 at 8:38 AM

      Love this!! Thanks for coming back to leave a review, Jo!

  • Mel
    June 30, 2020 at 10:55 PM

    Hi! Quick question? When I saw the picture I would have thought there was brown sugar incorporated into a crumbly streusel mix but after reading through see that it’s made from the extra dough. Any thoughts on whether adding some extra crumbles using brown sugar would hurt the taste?

    • Tara
      July 15, 2020 at 9:06 AM

      Hi Mel! Yes, you can certainly use brown sugar with the crumbles. Happy baking!

  • Christie
    July 30, 2020 at 10:35 PM

    Do you have to use the liquor in this recipe or is there a substitute

    • Tara
      July 31, 2020 at 9:02 AM

      Hi Chrisie! You can substitute 2 tablespoons of water, orange juice, or apple juice for the brandy. Happy baking!

  • Kim
    September 1, 2020 at 10:58 AM

    So glad I found your recipe! It’s amazing & a hit with everyone I have made it for. I ended up cooking longer – might be my oven. Love it!!

    • Tara
      September 28, 2020 at 10:37 AM

      Yay! So great to hear this, Kim! Thanks so much for coming back to leave a review!

  • Pat
    September 5, 2020 at 5:40 PM

    What about Amaretto instead of the Brandy? I like it better.

    • Tara
      September 28, 2020 at 10:36 AM

      Sure! I don’t see why not!

  • Julie
    September 20, 2020 at 1:44 PM

    I love this tart! It is so much more delicious than that “other” plum tart…

    • Tara
      September 28, 2020 at 10:32 AM

      Great to hear!

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