Ever thought of making a fruit crumble in tart form? The very best answer is a 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 yearning 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 recipe.

Plum Tart Ingredients

Here’s the basic shopping list for what you need to make this fruit tart recipe. Be sure to keep scrolling down to the recipe card for the full list of ingredients and baking instructions!

  • All-purpose flour
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Kosher salt
  • Baking powder
  • Italian plums – these are sometimes called Italian prune plums
  • Minute tapioca or cornstarch
  • Brandy liqueur – This is optional but see the note in the recipe card below. The recipe needs some type of liquid.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsalted butter
  • Ice cold water

The Brilliance of a Double Duty Dough

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 on a black wire cooling rack.

Italian Plum Tart

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

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.


  • 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 (See note #1 below)
  • 2 tbsp Minute tapioca or 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp brandy (optional - see note #2 below)
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar, divided
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Ice cold water


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with baking spray or butter and flour. If you don't have a springform pan, use a 9-inch cake pan instead. Line the bottom of the pan with a 9-inch parchment baking round. Lightly grease the parchment paper. Place the pan on a baking sheet.
  2. Whisk the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder together in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Cut the plum halves in half again and toss them in a medium bowl with the tapioca/cornstarch, brandy (see note below), and ¾ cup of the sugar; set aside for 15 minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.


  1. If you can't find Italian plums for this plum tart, don't fret. Other plum varieties will work nicely here too!
  2. You can swap the brandy for cognac, water, or orange juice.

adapted from How Easy is That? by Ina Garten

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