Monday, September 19, 2011

un torta di susine -- a plum tart

I visited the Penn Quarter FRESHFARM Market last Thursday and was instantly under the spell of these deep indigo Italian plums...I bought two pounds, brought them home and continued to swoon over them...they were just lovely!!  And lucky for me, I had just zoned out with an episode of Barefoot Contessa the night before on tv and guess what she made??  

A plum tart!

perfect timing and time to start baking...

Plum Tart
2001, Barefoot Contessa Parties!, All Rights Reserved

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 45 min

1 (9 1/2-inch) tart

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), diced
1 egg yolk
2 pounds firm, ripe Italian prune plums, pitted and quartered lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the flour, walnuts, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter and the egg yolk. Mix, either by hand or with an electric mixer, until crumbly.

Press 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture in an even layer into the bottom of a 9 1/2-inch springform or tart pan. Arrange the plums in the pan, skin side down, to form a flower pattern; begin at the outside and work your way in.

Sprinkle the rest of the crumb mixture evenly over the plums. Bake the tart for 40 to 50 minutes, or until it's lightly browned and the plum juices are bubbling. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer the tart to a flat plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

It is a cinch to make.  The walnut-based crust also doubles as the crumb topping and its really, really good.  I have discovered the riper the fruit, the better the tart--or should I say -- the sweeter the tart...Extra ripe fruit really made this delicious.  We enjoyed a slice last night after dinner and since it has all those heathy walnuts in it, the kids & I had a slice (warmed with a little cream!) for breakfast. 

 Pretty great way to start the week.

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