7.27.2019

A Plum of a Tart

I cannot resist buying the fresh ripe plums and apricots that are available at the farmers market these days.

With them, I have made my friend Paola’s Apricot and Almond Cake several times now — and will post it here sometime soon!

(I am already scheduling posts into November! So much food, so little time!)

But, these plums. So purple. So perfect. So plump.

I asked my friend and houseguest Michael, if he wanted a plum cake. “Couldn’t you make a jam tart?” he asked.

Yes. Yes, I can. And, thus, this tart was born.

I made the jam. I whipped up a crust. I concocted a streusel topping using speculoos cookies and some almond flour. The rest is now history.

This can be made with any stone fruit — or berries — but there is something special about the pleasant tartness of plums that just makes your mouth happy.

Markipedia, Michael, and I were joined for dinner that evening by our designer/architect friend Corina, who was raised in Buenos Aires.

In my traditional review process of any new recipe, I asked them what they thought of the tart.

Michael wanted the tart to have more cinnamon. Corina liked the subtle spicing that came from the speculoos cookies, especially as cinnamon is not much used Argentinean cuisine. Mark was on the same page as Corina.

You can decide for yourself — you can add cinnamon to the jam or the streusel... or not! Make it your own! If you can’t find speculoos cookies, ginger snaps or other spice cookies make a workable substitute.

~ David


Plum Streusel Tart

12 ounces purple plums, pitted and chopped
1 apple, peeled and grated
1 cup sugar 

    * you can also used high-quality jarred preserves

1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
3 tablespoons ice water

4 ounces speculoos cookies
2 ounces ground almonds
4 tablespoons butter


For the jam: Mix the chopped plums, grated apple, and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until jam is thick-ish — about 15 minutes. Let cool.Transfer the jam to a ceramic bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made two days in advance. (Note: I ran the jam through the large holed-disc of my food mill. This isn’t necessary – it just removes most of the skins.)

For the crust: Mix the flour and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, then add butter, and pulse 12 times. Add the water and then process until dough forms a soft ball. Press the dough into a 9-inch tart pan. Place the pan with the crust into the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Once crust has chilled, prick the bottom all over with a fork, line it with foil and fill with pie weights (I use dried beans), and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, then take away foil and weights. The crust should be lightly golden. Let cool.

Crush the cookies in a mortar and pestle (or food processor) and mix well with the almonds. Add the chilled butter in pieces and, using your fingertips, mix the butter with the crumbs to make a streusel topping.

Spread crust with the jam (using all of it) and top with the streusel mixture. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until nicely browned.

Let cool, and slice. A small scoop of vanilla ice cream wouldn't hurt.

Serves 8.





34 comments:

  1. You had me at speculoos, a cookie I find hard to resist when I see them on the supermarket shelves. I usually devour a packet in a single sitting, but now I can put them to good use with this gorgeous tart!

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    1. They really made a great topping for this, John. And, like, you, I find them hard to resist.

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  2. What a delight to know I can safely click on Instagram at least into November on my Sunday mornings to be transported to your blog and another culinary delight ! This here surely is a temptation to a non-baker and will be attempted as soon as plums delight our markets . . . the jam will be home-made and not come out of a jar ! Oh, N European born - naturally there are speculoos biscuits around: even make them myself for Christmas . . .

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    1. Eha - I am a believer that jams should always be homemade, at least when possible. I know you have a long wait for plums, but the season will come before you know it!

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  3. I love, love plums and adding speculoos cookies makes this tart that much better. I have to look for some speculoos cookies and I like the idea of adding cinnamon.

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    1. Gerlinde - these are Speculoos from Trader Joe. They aren't as good as homemade ones, but they do well for moments like this!

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  4. I would like it as-is! I think cinnamon is overused in the US. It's overpowering and think a little goes a long way. LOVE speculoos and that you used it in the topping! Too bad I couldn't be a judge, too! :)

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    1. I agree with you Christina - cinnamon is definitely overused here - so much so that it is no longer the special spice it once was. You would be a fun judge to have here! :)

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  5. this sounds lovely david. not plum season here yet...you are well organised, having posts scheduled till november! i have about 3 on the go atm; that's all:) cheers sherry

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    1. Sherry - with my day job taking much of my time, I really need to cash in and photography every meal I make just in case I need a post! Having three on tap is actually much further ahead than many bloggers! :)

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  6. ... u made yr spécules!?! ... lovely stuff (and those moulds!)
    tart: looks very good. this is the way I often make crostata too: instead of jam, I make a compote, which generally works well with the sweet italian pasta frolla
    everyone, Lucia first; is impressed by efficient u r
    stef

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    1. Ste - I did not make these speculoos, although I do make them each year at the holidays. these are from Trader Joe!

      My plum jam is actually more a compote - and definitely not too sweet! Thanks Lucia for her kind sniffs...

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  7. So tasty one ! Also glad we have the same habit of gathering food tasters and noting their opinions .... important part of recipe developing, right ?

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    1. It really is an important part of the process, Davorka. So often, it is just Mark. He is my biggest fan! :)

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  8. I'm so glad that you went with tart as this one is a winner. I've never had plums in a pie/tart before but I certainly want to make one now.

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    1. Emma - thanks! I am willing to make any fruit into a pie or tart. I much prefer pies over cakes!

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  9. I love the idea of using speculoos biscuits for this, what a brilliant tart and a fantastic way to use plums. I'd love a slice of this.

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    1. Thanks, Caroline! I wish you lived closer so I could serve you a slice!

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  10. David,your plum jam looks so versatile- I would put it my toast as well as slather it on my vanilla ice cream. Yumsky wumsky!

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    1. Versatile desserts are very important to me, Fran! :)

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  11. A small scoop of vanilla ice cream never hurts. Just sayin'. :-) We're loving all the fresh fruit at the moment, and we're just getting into plum season here. This looks terrific! And plums take so well to spicing (allspice in particular) so adding spicy speculoos to the dish is an inspired idea.

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    1. I will definitely need to try plums with allspice, John - thanks for that tip

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  12. I too can't resist the plums (and all stone fruits) at the Farmers Market lately. This is a lovely tart and that cookie topping is luring me right in. Yum! :-) ~Valentina

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    1. Thanks, Valentina - I love all streusel toppings, too!

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  13. Dear David, I can relate- so many plums, so little time...your plum tart looks like a wonderful tart to serve after dinner. Actually, I love plum compote jam, tarts, cakes...plums are simply wonderful for cooking and baking!
    Liebe Grüße,
    Andrea

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    1. I am definitely ready for a plum cake soon, Andrea!

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  14. David, I love plums, warm spices and speculoos cookies! This whole tart will make my mouth happy. Bookmarked to make soon!! :)

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  15. So beautiful David. Somehow plums seem to have a richness that makes them extra nice in baking. I've chopped up gingerbread men for a holiday crust a couple times. Been meaning to post it ever since complete with picture of a decapitated gingerbread man in the blender :)

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    1. Oh, I am afraid the sight of a decapitated gingerbread man might make me cry! At least when my brothers bit off their heads, it did! :)

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  16. Being Argentina I wonder if this has Italian roots. I'm reminded of a Jam-Filled Italian Crostate (or crostata if you prefer). It’s hard to walk into any bakery or pasticceria in Italy and not notice these little hand-pies right away. GREG

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    1. I think there are a lot of jam tarts in Italy, Greg - and quite a few with crumble tops... probably subconscious inspiration!

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