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Because there was a bag of plums

I took this picture on an excellent afternoon.

It was a Saturday. I had just met a deadline that I had been dreading. I was immensely relieved. Two of our best friends were in town for a visit, two friends who moved here a couple of years ago and became sort of like family, but then they found jobs and gigs in other cities, so they moved away. But they were in town on this particular day, and we had stayed up late the night before, and the night before that, and now it was late afternoon. Bonnie had a concert, and Ben was driving her to rehearsal, and Brandon was at the restaurant, and I was home alone. Because there was a bag of plums on the counter, and because it was the second day of October, I decided to bake a plum tart. The house was warm from sunlight and the oven preheating, and I put on a dress that I won’t get to wear again until June, and while the tart baked, I sat down at the kitchen table, turned to my left, and took that picture.

The next day, we ate plum tart for breakfast.

I miss my friends. Even though they ate most of the tart before I could take its picture.


The good news is, at least this thing is easy to make, and to make over again. It’s the easiest, quickest tart recipe I can think of, and I’m not just saying that because I made it four days ago and it’s on my mind. The recipe comes from the esteemed Alice Medrich, from her book Pure Desserts, and she calls it a rustic plum tart. I’m tempted to call it a plum tart cake, because it’s a little like both and that’s how I am, but you can decide. Mix up some flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, and then work in a beaten egg and some butter until you wind up with something like yellow sand. Press that lightly into a tart or cake pan, whichever you want, and then arrange some plain cut-up plums on top, and less than an hour later, it’s on. The plums soften into pockets of loosely contained jam, and the crust puffs up around them, tender-crumbed in the middle like a coarse cake and crunchy at the edges. I can imagine it with whipped cream after dinner, but mostly, I think of it as a nice thing to eat in the afternoon, with something hot to drink. And in the morning, with coffee, it also makes a totally reasonable stand-in for buttered-and-jammed toast. Especially if the company is right.

Rustic Plum Tart
From Pure Dessert, by Alice Medrich

Contrast is what makes this tart work: the crust is quite sweet, and the plums should be quite tart. Look for plums that are both sweet and tangy, especially the ones that make you pucker a little when you bite into the flesh closest to the skin. I’ve made this tart with some unnamed red-skinned, yellow-fleshed plums that I found at the farmers market, and also with Flavor King pluots. Medrich recommends Santa Rosa, Friar, Laroda, and Elephant Heart plums, and she advises against the small, oblong plums often called Italian prune plums. They’re not tangy enough.

Also, I make the dough for this tart in a food processor, but you can make it by hand, so I’m including instructions for both. The food processor makes it especially quick and tidy, but either way is easy.

Finally, for the tart dough, you don’t want ice cold, rock-hard, straight-from-the-fridge butter. You want it to be a little softer than that, but not as soft as it gets at room temperature. You want it to be firm, as it is when it’s pleasantly cool.

1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
½ tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 large egg, lightly whisked
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, firm but not hard, cut into a few pieces
4 to 6 juicy, flavorful plums

Set a rack in the lower third of the oven, and preheat the oven to 375°F. Generously butter a 9 ½-inch tart pan with a removable bottom – or, barring that, a 9-inch springform pan also works nicely.

To make the dough by hand, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the egg and butter, and use a pastry blender, a large fork, or a couple of knives to cut the mixture together, as though you were making pie dough. The dough is ready when it resembles a rough mass of damp yellow sand with no dry flour showing.

To make the dough in a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse to mix. Add the egg and butter, and pulse just until the mixture resembles damp yellow sand and is beginning to clump around the blade.

Press the dough gently but evenly over the bottom but not up the sides of the pan. You’re not trying to pack it down; you’re just lightly tamping it.

If the plums are very small (under 2 inches in diameter), cut them in half and remove the pits. Cut larger plums into quarters or sixths, removing the pits. Leaving a margin of ½ inch around the edge of the pan, arrange halved plums cut side up over the dough, with a little space between each one. Arrange wedges skin side up – they look nice that way after baking – and press them lightly into the dough, so that they won’t turn onto their sides in the oven.

Bake until the pastry is puffed, deep golden brown at the edges, and a lighter shade of golden brown in the center, about 50 to 55* minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Then loosen and remove the rim of the pan, and cool further. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: This tart keeps at room temperature for a few days, but its texture is best on the first day.

* UPDATED on November 3, 2010: A number of readers have reported that 50 to 55 minutes was too long in their ovens, and that their tarts were burnt. To be on the safe side, set your timer for 35 to 40 minutes, and keep an eye on it.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


Anonymous Gali said...

Now that sounds like a super easy recipe and the tart looks good. I think I now know what we'll be having for dessert tonight.

1:35 AM, October 07, 2010  
Anonymous my little expat kitchen said...

A plum tart for friends. Nothing better than that.

1:43 AM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger Susan said...

Can't wait to try the tart!

2:28 AM, October 07, 2010  
Anonymous Belinda @zomppa said...

Bastards!! Sounds like y'all had a great time. Isn't it nice to have friends that you just pick up where you left off?

2:43 AM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger Vanessa said...

Your plum crumble brought a smile to my face the other day so I can't wait to try this. It's a sign of true friendship if they eat most of your desserts! What's left over looks amazing.

3:04 AM, October 07, 2010  
Anonymous Victoria said...

Hi, Molly,

Fall came quickly this year, didn't it? I love autumn, and after our (not your) hot summer, I thought I would be happier than ever when it arrived. But it showed up so early, I was shocked. Last weekend in upstate New York 50 per cent of the trees were already bare, and normally we hit peak this coming weekend.

I LOVE the book Pure Dessert. I make the Almond Cake all the time, and I will try this one right away.

Do you think it would be good made with apricots when they are available? I usually can't get any good local apricots here. Even when they are available at the farmer's market, I generally find them to be mealy and unpleasant to eat out of hand. But cooked - poached, in a cake, in a tart - they can be delicious. I just got some lovely Austrian apricot brandy, similar to a grappa, so I am thinking ahead to the next apricot season when small glasses of it would be lovely after dinner. What do you think?

4:42 AM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger Helen said...

Mmmmm, looks delicious. I'm in the southern hemisphere and am going to make this with the first apricots of the new season (which should be any day now - can't wait!).

4:55 AM, October 07, 2010  
Anonymous Ilke said...

Looks like a very versatile tart that can be eaten anytime. Can be a nice addition to a brunch.
Thanks for sharing!

And I like those days when everybody goes about their business, and I am left alone at home to sit and relax like your Saturday. Not so much though if the house is dirty and I am left alone to clean it!

5:11 AM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger Julie said...

I really, really wish you were my next door neighbor and I could drop in for some plum tart right now, since I'm looking at a bowl of multigrain Cheerios for breakfast. Boo. Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe--I can't wait to try it.

5:12 AM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger My Kitchen in the Rockies said...

Yes, that is my kind of breakfast, Cake!
Great tart. Plums are just a wonderful fruit.

5:30 AM, October 07, 2010  
OpenID buttersweetmelody said...

I love the title of this post. That's often why I bake..."because there was a pint of strawberries" or a rotten banana...and so on. Your words are lovely, thansk for this recipe!



5:34 AM, October 07, 2010  
Anonymous Molly On Money said...

The tart looks delicious. We have two plum trees and hence, tons of plums!
Currently we have a plum crisp on the cake stand that I'm not loving.....maybe I'll feed it to the chickens and make the tart today.

5:43 AM, October 07, 2010  
Anonymous Bonoca said...

This recipe reminds me of your apple tart cake (except there is no egg/sugar/cinnamon mixture on top). Sounds lovely...will have to try it soon!

5:54 AM, October 07, 2010  
Anonymous Su-Lin said...

Oh, I was looking for a plum tart recipe just like this! Thank you!

6:02 AM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger Buona Forchetta said...

My roommate probably did not appreciate my little fit of hysterical laughter as I reach the bottom of your fourth picture. "Bastards." hahahahah! Always a joy to see a new post of yours and I cannot wait to get myself some plums and try this recipe myself. Thank you!!

6:08 AM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger Laura said...

That is an interesting tart. I have the book but I rarely use it, time to change that! I love afternoons like yours, I am enjoying too the last few summer fruits.

6:34 AM, October 07, 2010  
Anonymous Jen said...

One of my most disappointing food experiences was biting into a huge, beautiful plum that had absolutely no flavor. Not even a tiny bit of flavor. So I may have to do some plum sampling before I choose the right ones to make this tart. Thank you always for sharing, especially baked goods.

6:38 AM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger High Plains Drifters said...

Question: why is it relatively easy to find prune juice on the grocery shelf but not plum juice? Seems like we're making things harder than we need to, drying them and then making them into juice. But what do I know ...

7:13 AM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger Jessica said...

just lovely. As always. I'm not even that into plums, but I think I might give this a go.

7:15 AM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger The militant working boy said...

What is an Autumn afternoon without good friends and good tart?

7:18 AM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger Ashley said...

I love Alice's recipes. I had the pleasure of attending a cooking class she was teaching. Her cookbooks are beautiful.

7:22 AM, October 07, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Plum Tart looks yummy!!! Your Mom's Raspberry-Blueberry Pound Cake warmed up on the grill the next day for breakfast was FABULOUS, she was right on with that suggestion. I'm enjoying ALL the recipes in your book which was also wonderful to read. My daughter went to your restaurant while at the Blog conference in Seattle. She took some great pictures of it and you. Love your blog. Betsey from Vermont. gbszat@gmail.com

7:46 AM, October 07, 2010  
Anonymous dc sarah said...

all forms of plum cakes (and that banana bread recipe of yours with the cinnamon sugar topping-uh, i might have eaten half of it in a day), are keeping me sane and coddled during this thesis debacle. thank you for another one, and happy early autumn to you.

7:55 AM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger andreagroves said...

Wow! This looks fabulous. I wonder if I could make it with gluten-free ingredients and coconut oil instead of butter? It wouldn't hurt to try! :)

Thanks for the inspiration!

8:15 AM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger Krysta said...

I'm the first comment! Woo-hoo! And...I'm also a dork for being so excited about it! That tart looks divine! I will be baking it soon. I'll let you know how it comes out!

8:35 AM, October 07, 2010  
Anonymous The Rowdy Chowgirl said...

Perfect dessert for a perfect fall day...I've had plums on my mind this week--plum crumble to be specific, but this recipe is tempting me to switch course and try a tart.

8:36 AM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger Krysta said...

Oh, I just realized you have to approve the comments, which makes me have a sinking suspicion that since you posted this 7 hours ago, that I cannot possibly be the first comment... Oh well!

8:38 AM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger goda said...

I checked out your blog because it's on my English suggested reading but after seeing this plum entry I believe this will be my new indulgence when I have spare time.

I adore Plums!

8:39 AM, October 07, 2010  
OpenID bookssnob said...

This post was just what I needed today. I moved from London to New York a few weeks ago and was desperately missing my mum's autumn plum tart...now I can make my own, eat it in my tiny apartment, and imagine I'm back by my mum's fire in a damp and golden autumnal England...thank you!

8:41 AM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger resolute twig said...

your tart looks delicious!
and the evening of friends and getting to wear your dress sounds lovely. :)

8:42 AM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger Ms. Mig said...

Holy goodness! This post makes me want to jump up and find some plums for tart makin'! Ms. Mig

9:18 AM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger alexandra said...

you were written about on GOOP! how super awesome is that?! i'm so excited for you!

9:19 AM, October 07, 2010  
Anonymous Angharad said...

I feel like I've seen plum tarts coming out the wazoo in food blog land - I need to try my hand at such a thing! I'm pretty sure it's a good sign that it was all gobbled up before you could take it's picture ;)

10:30 AM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger carma said...

That tarte looks incredibly delicious!! My husband chides me because I take a half inch sliver of pie/tartes or anything else sweet and yummy - but then go back for 20 more 1/2" servings in the next few minutes...

Congrats on being featured by Gwyneth on Goop!! (unfortunately the link is going to orangette.com - so people do not arrive at your site directly) Hopefully they will do a quick search like I did :)

11:02 AM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger Lisa said...

Your post on plums brought to mind the poem by William Carlos Williams "This Is Just To Say"

If you're not familiar with it, here it is (link below).

You make food so poetic, so I just had to share this poem--in case you haven't heard it before.


11:09 AM, October 07, 2010  
Anonymous Pieholes & Plyos said...

I tried to make a plum cake last week and it was the plums who were the bastards. The friends were pure saints for eating it and pretending it wasn't a disaster!

Maybe I'll have better luck with this version.

11:11 AM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger Susie Bee on Maui said...

Beautiful and sounds delicious-especially for breakfast!


11:18 AM, October 07, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice GP mention! (http://goop.com/newsletter/99/)I love your writing, always.

12:20 PM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger Molly said...

Hello, good people. I hope your Thursday is shaping up nicely.

Victoria, I do think it could be great with apricots. They've got the sweet-tart thing going on, and that's the key. The only problem is, we'll have to wait a year to find out. Maybe the time would go a little faster if you went ahead and started drinking that apricot brandy?

High Plains Drifters, you've got me there. Oh prune juice, stuff of mystery, butt of so many jokes. (Har.) (Sorry.)

andreagroves, I'm sure you could make this with gluten-free flours. I don't have enough experience with coconut oil to speak to that, but it's worth a try, for sure.

Alexandra, isn't that crazy? It was the first thing I saw when I got up this morning. Nutso! And awesome! Very, very exciting.

Carma, thank you for doing the work to find me, even though the GOOP newsletter got the URL wrong! I died a little when I saw that. But I guess we should never take this stuff too seriously, right? Right.

Lisa, I do know that poem, and I love it. Thank you for the reminder!

12:32 PM, October 07, 2010  
Anonymous nicole said...

I made something very similar to this all summer long and is was DELICIOUS; I also subbed in a little cornmeal for the flour (about 1/4 cornmeal, 3/4 cup flour) because a) I love a bit of cornmeal in desserts, b) it seemed like it would really compliment the plums (it did), and c) it just seemed like the right thing to do. I love how simple yet absolutely lovely this cake is.

1:14 PM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger Joanna said...

Sounds and looks delicious.

And congrats on the GOOP shout-out! How fancy is that?

1:15 PM, October 07, 2010  
Anonymous Ross said...

That is a gorgeous tart. Next time one of my local produce stands has a surplus of plums, I know what I'm doing!

1:21 PM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger JGlasscoe said...

this is my go-to plum recipe - so easy, and so addictive. I love it, and am glad that someone else does now too!

1:50 PM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger Croatian_Latina said...

oh that looks so yummy. glad your friends enjoyed it, and still left some so you could take a picture.

3:26 PM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger linda said...

yes, friends like family…we has that this past saturday night & it was comfortable & wonderful…
when they left i was very nostalgic…

i am going to whole foods tomorrow & check out the plums…need to bake this asap!

thanks molly for a wonderful post!

5:02 PM, October 07, 2010  
Anonymous Nisrine said...

Looks super delicious! Ah those bastards :)

6:10 PM, October 07, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me very much of Marian Burros' much acclaimed plum torte recipe published in NYT back in the 1970's. That one called for more butter and plums, so this one is easier on the waistline!

6:28 PM, October 07, 2010  
Anonymous molly said...

I was just researching a story and have Pure Dessert sitting not TWO INCHES from my laptop. Freakin' fate.

Now, for some plums...

8:47 PM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger julia said...

I had a similar thing happen with plums from our tree. Had to think of something to do with them and luckily I found your plum crumble recipe. My husband LOVED it! Will try this recipe next year and see what he thinks.

8:54 PM, October 07, 2010  
Anonymous Lisa said...

This sound just scrumptious, and feels like my favorite recipes of yours, though I've not made it yet. But I shall!

We planted a few fruit trees when we moved in last year -- a wedding gift from a friend with an orchard! -- and there were two plum trees. One was sadly run over by an errant mower (or perhaps its distracted driver) but the other is looking good. I'm not sure when it will start fruiting, but I'm making all your plum recipes to celebrate when it does :)

9:36 PM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger Megan Gordon said...

I vote in the morning with coffee. I'm a big sweets-in-the-morning kind of gal..especially this time of year.

11:27 PM, October 07, 2010  
Blogger Gemma said...

I ate some incredibly disappointing plums this year, so sad, but have been having more success finding lots of blackberries, maybe blackberry tart instead...

3:54 AM, October 08, 2010  
Anonymous anne said...

I have discovered "orangette" via G. Paltrow's blog. Thank you for sharing all those beautiful pictures and interesting recipes ! Regards from France !

5:17 AM, October 08, 2010  
Anonymous Terri said...

I just opened GOOP, Gwyneth Paltrow's newsletter, and you are listed as a favorite food blog! Congrats!

7:23 AM, October 08, 2010  
Blogger Adelaide said...

My favorite dessert cookbook, far and away, and one of my favorite recipes in it. Do try it with the vanilla-sour cream glaze. Also unbelievable: the lebni tart with cardamom-balsamic figs. HEA. VEN.

Keep up the beautiful work, Molly!

11:41 AM, October 08, 2010  
Anonymous Mindy said...

This sounds like it would be lovely with afternoon tea. Or when you're up really early, before anyone else, and you sit at the kitchen table watching the sun come up.

3:14 PM, October 08, 2010  
Blogger JB said...

This is just to say that I am eating this tart at this very moment. It fell in a beautiful mess upon my plate and I am using a tiny spoon to eat it so that my bites will be reserved and I will not inhale it.

And if everyone is curious about substitutions (sorry, can't help it!), I used half whole wheat pastry flour, and dialed the sugar back to a 1/2 cup and it's totally delicious.

p.s. Beautiful story telling, as always!

4:20 PM, October 08, 2010  
Blogger ~Melissa said...

This looks like a great, simple recipe. Because plums don't grow here (Caribbean), I think something will be lost using plums (packed in crates for weeks before I get them). I'll try Guavas and let you know. Thanks for sharing the love, keep up the great work Molly.

5:18 PM, October 08, 2010  
Anonymous sandy from tassie said...

Luv the details re the dress and the warm kitchen ... why I've given up TV for blog-hopping.

6:22 PM, October 08, 2010  
Anonymous Bogna @ Pots and Frills said...

Plums are my favorite fall fruits. In my native (Polish) cuisine, there are many recipes involving plums. While I was deliberating which one of my many plum cake/pie recipes to post, you have already surprised me again with your post.

5:21 AM, October 09, 2010  
Blogger Emily said...

This is delicious, m'dear. I made one last night to try it out for a friend's birthday tonight. It made an excellent breakfast. I just pulled out my second one, which I'm pairing with the winning hearts and minds cake for an unbeatable birthday duo.
Thanks, as always.

11:18 AM, October 09, 2010  
Blogger margie said...

I love plum tarts, plum cakes, plum clafoutis ... my favorite is a plum tart with an almond-laced crust and a basic custard surrounding the fruit. I've finally abandoned the plums in our markets, though - they weren't very good for most of the season, and now we're left with giant, mostly-bland pluots and a few prune plums from high elevations.

11:34 AM, October 09, 2010  
Blogger dianneconner said...

We had a plethora of plums this past summer - a gazillion, really! I will save this recipe for next year.
It sounds yummy - I would have been a thieving bastard, too!

I also wanted to mention that my dear friend, CAroline Dahlberg (coeurdela@blogspot.com) gave my A Homemade Life for my birthday - which I just finished.

It is my new very favorite book! I inhaled it on a plane from LA to Chicago...the flight attendant was concerned about my crying, laughing, smiles and giggles during the flight and thought that maybe I had snuck in a few extra bottles of vodka to account for my mood swings.

A Homemade Life is amazing - I dogeared all the recipes (the tuna bouchons we will be serving as appetizers at our bed and breakfast Petit Soleil tonight with a lovely Ardeche).
I was touched my the stories of your dad - causing the unrestrained tears. I miss my dad too. I love your stories of Paris, and Brandon - well I just love the book!
I am now going through your blog - writing down recipes for the hotel and for home.
Molly! You are a delight!
Dianne Conner

1:07 PM, October 09, 2010  
Anonymous http://climateofopinion.blogspot.com said...

Recipe looks good but what I really want to know do you only hang out with people that their names begin with "B"?

On another note I am the hostess of our monthly "Ladies Supper Club" in November. The hostess or princess of the month chooses the theme. I have chosen you and your recipes as the theme. They all must come with one of your recipes, a story about food and a comment about your writing.

We all live in the same community in Vancouver, Wa. You are welcome to join us. It should be fun.

2:29 PM, October 09, 2010  
Blogger chloe heller said...

this sounds so good. i cant wait to make it! Sounde SUPER easy, and i loooveee plums.


11:12 PM, October 09, 2010  
Blogger heartbreak pie said...

Dessert for breakfast: probably my favourite thing about being an adult. Plums look gorgeous!

12:23 AM, October 10, 2010  
Blogger Ananda Rajashekar said...

oh what a beautiful plum tart, gorgeous! first time here, loving it :)

8:14 AM, October 10, 2010  
Blogger Amanda said...

Baking in dresses is a lost art. Nothing like a plumb tart to send good friends on their way. Looking forward to having some myself for breakfast.

11:08 AM, October 10, 2010  
Blogger Joudie's Mood Food said...

What a great use of plums..... lovely!

11:23 AM, October 10, 2010  
Blogger Kate said...

This makes me miss the plum trees we had growing up. Looks lovely!

11:26 AM, October 10, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please can we have a good tomato chutney recipe from you?

12:30 PM, October 10, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love it. Made this last night on a whim and came together in a flash. Beautiful and simple, and nicely accompanied by a bit of vanilla bean ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream. Thanks.

12:44 PM, October 10, 2010  
Anonymous Dirty Girl Gardening said...

Looks amazing. I love sundays...

4:13 PM, October 10, 2010  
Anonymous Jenny @ Musings and Morsels said...

Isn't it wonderful when you're able to create something so beautiful tasting with such simple ingredients! I also find that foods less muddled in flavour are often brighter and more exquisite in taste - I'm sure with your tart, the plums are pronouncedly tart all awhile being perfectly cut through with the edgy crust.

6:39 AM, October 11, 2010  
Blogger The Yard Sale Girl said...


1:23 PM, October 11, 2010  
Blogger Lainey Seyler said...

fantastic. this is what i was looking for a month ago when i had landed some free plums. i made do with an old recipe from gourmet magazine. i've used that one twice since.

3:35 PM, October 11, 2010  
Anonymous Liz @ Butter and Onions said...

I just recently read your book, and just loved reading it. Can't wait to try some of the recipes, especially the macaroons.

7:08 PM, October 11, 2010  
Blogger Cookin' Canuck said...

There is nothing better than sharing a meal with good friends - friends who are comfortable enough to dig into your tart before your food blogging-self gets to take a picture. I get it and that kind of friendship is worth a lost shot here and there.

It was really good to meet you at BlogHer and to listen to you talk about life and writing during that honest, heart-warming panel session.

9:05 PM, October 11, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've recently been introduced to your blog through a friend who lives in Seattle. Where have I been all these years? It's a pleasure to read your writing.

This entry makes me think of the poem "this is just to say" by William Carlos Williams...only your friends forgot to leave a note of apology for eating the plums!

11:22 AM, October 12, 2010  
Blogger Amelia PS said...

i can feel the wonderful warm light and the plum aromas

1:40 PM, October 12, 2010  
Anonymous Heather said...

Hello Molly!

So glad to see you gave this recipe a go! I made a similar one out of the same book, but it was the almond and plum tart (Alice just includes ground almonds in the shell)and had some french plums lying about instead. So glad to see another follower of her amazing baking book! Love reading your posts (and glad to see you are back in the game these days, we missed you!)


4:21 PM, October 12, 2010  
Anonymous CareyPalenchar said...

First of all, I also thought of the William Carlos Williams poem, which I love - which lead me to think that your writing as a whole is very similar to his style of poetry - simple and beautiful.

Second of all, I made the plum tart yesterday. I used Italian prune plums, which I thought would be too sweet, but they concentrated in the oven and became tart. The tart turned out great and I love the crisp/chewy texture of the crust. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but I was digging this one a lot.

Thanks for the post!

5:29 PM, October 12, 2010  
Anonymous strawberry CAKE said...

Molly, I cant tell you how great it was to meet you this past weekend at Blogher Food. You are such a sweet genuine person. Very approachable. And I think it is so hilarious that we have the silly Viking Haithabu museum memory in common. Weird, goofy, strange. Makes me giggle, that we would have such a random thing in common, besides food. Well, all the best to you! LuvYa, Sheila

9:14 PM, October 12, 2010  
Anonymous sue said...

Made the tart this morning and am a bit nonplussed. Like a sweet crunchy cookie with a piece of cooked fruit on top. No puffing of dough, not much flavor to it either, other than sugar and a wee bit of saltiness.

I will go back to my default tart crust, a pate brisee where at least the butter sings a duet with the fruit. Sorry, Alice, but I was expecting more from you.

7:36 AM, October 13, 2010  
Blogger Molly said...

Hi, all!

Anonymous, I'm sorry to say that I've never eaten or made tomato chutney. How do you tend to use it? As a condiment for meats? Tell me more...

And Sue, I'm so sorry to hear that the tart didn't turn out well. I'm curious about the fact that it didn't puff at all. That's not right! Is your baking powder working alright in other recipes? I wonder if it needs to be replaced?

10:04 AM, October 13, 2010  
Blogger Muttersome said...

Made this today! It. Was. Awesome.

4:26 PM, October 13, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the same problem that Sue had--ended up with more of a sugar cookie than a cake. I had a fairly new can of baking powder-what else could it be?

4:35 PM, October 13, 2010  
Anonymous Heidi - Apples Under My Bed said...

Hehe, love this. Love tart for breakfast too :)
Heidi xo

9:23 PM, October 13, 2010  
Anonymous susan fine said...

i am reminded of that lovely william carlos williams poem about plums... they are rather poetic, as you, too, show.

10:35 AM, October 14, 2010  
Anonymous sue said...

Brand new can of B powder--makes fine cornbread, etc.

I dunno--more like a crisp cookie than a crust, that's for sure. Not really like pastry at all.

Don't think I'll try it again; There's a fruit tart from Tassajara Bread Book that's just so great.

But that's OK, lots of other good food here.

7:31 PM, October 14, 2010  
Anonymous clf said...

I was inspired to make this last week. Plums are still tart and plentiful and the photo was beautiful, so I couldn't resist.

I made it Sinatra-style (in other words, MY way) by tossing a small handful of sliced almonds with the flour and pulsing until they were pulverized.

My tart pan was a little larger, so I used a little more flour than the recipe called for and upped the baking powder just a bit. I added an additional egg yolk and moistened the dough with a few droplets of cream.

My tart puffed up slightly as described. It was golden. It looked like the photo. Mine also tasted pretty much like a cookie with a plum on top. The only good thing about it was plums. I will be returning to my default plum cake.

12:30 AM, October 17, 2010  
Blogger Denise | Chez Danisse said...

Thank you so much for including instructions for making the dough by hand. I don't own a food processor and sometimes feel I am the only person in the world without one. Also, I love your first photograph.

2:04 PM, October 18, 2010  
Anonymous The Crafty Penguin said...

Sounds like a delicious tart! Thanks for the recipe!

10:47 AM, October 19, 2010  
Blogger Megan said...

This Is Just To Say
by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

(In case you hadn't made a tart with them.)

1:15 PM, October 20, 2010  
Anonymous amanda@seegirlcook said...

mmmm..i love plums! what a wonderful way to use them.:)

6:54 AM, October 21, 2010  
Blogger Natalie said...

I have made this tart twice now. The first time, I baked it for 50 minutes, as per the recipe. It was good, but EXTREMELY CRUNCHY. The plums were so delicious, though, and it really was simple and quick to make, so I decided to try again. The second time I only baked it for 30-35 minutes, and it was much softer. If anyone else was struggling with it being too crunchy, I would suggest keeping watch and taking it out of the oven sooner, rather than just setting the timer for 50 minutes. Once it looks delicious, it probably *is* delicious.


9:10 AM, October 21, 2010  
Blogger The Salty Pear said...

i love that there's photo of the sun through a window and aWCW poem on one post, the internet can be so great sometimes.

9:33 AM, October 21, 2010  
OpenID AmJam said...

Do you think this could work with damsons instead?

12:54 PM, October 21, 2010  
Blogger Kerissa said...

The day this was posted, I had some plums languishing in the fridge. They quickly became plum tart. I now find myself with a few more plums...I could just eat them, but...oh, what to do!? Mmmmplumtart.

2:26 PM, October 21, 2010  
Anonymous Sam Rice said...

This is one of the cutest tarts I've ever seen and I will try to make some for the weekends! Thanks for sharing this one. It is great to see photos of the tart itself so I can picture out what my tarts should be at least! LOL

4:51 PM, October 21, 2010  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

I made this tart a couple days ago, and it only needed 40 minutes in the oven instead of 50-55 minutes. Very delicious!

7:23 AM, November 01, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is very similar to the oft requested new york times plum tart recipe which i have used when sharing a home baked treat with co-workers. they love the NYT tart. once i decided to plop the batter in a cupcake tin with proper paper liner smooshed a half plum into the deal and hoped for the best-- the cookie crust was the thing everyone raved about plus confessing I love plums

10:11 PM, November 02, 2010  
Anonymous Jane said...

I made it too and experienced the same regarding the time (40min). It's super delicious and so simple. First I thought the dough will never be enough, but it turned out absolutely fine. Now I'll have to make another tart for my sisters birthday this weekend.

4:27 AM, November 03, 2010  
Blogger hannah marie said...

I had a problem with the cooking time, too. I set the timer for 50 min, walked away and ended up with a rock-hard burned tart. This recipe has so much promise that I want to try it again tonight, but I'm wondering if maybe I should try a little lower temperature, too?

10:54 AM, November 03, 2010  
Blogger Molly said...

Hannah Marie, I would keep the temperature the same, but yes, try setting the timer for something closer to 35 to 40 minutes, just to be safe. Hope you have better luck this time!

8:19 PM, November 03, 2010  
Blogger The Urban Baker said...

I recently made a plum cake, but it didn't look as good as yours. With that said, this is an Alice M recipe. I am sure it was delicious!!

7:01 AM, November 04, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you do write another book. I am a simple East Texas Rancher (woman) and I loved your first book (doesn't that sound nice, now?) and gave copies to all my daughters and friends.
I love your stories, your simple, straight forward telling, and most of all your recipes.
You have such a gift, so get busy and write that book, or as we say in Texas, "Ya hear me?"
Blessings.....B. Gunn
East Texas Rancher

5:43 PM, December 21, 2010  
Anonymous Jean Bean said...

Gosh, I'm sorry I'm so late reading and posting. This looks and sounds scrumptious. But I have a question.

Could you make this with a jam or jelly? It looks so beautiful. And the solution to waiting til Summer is to use what's preserved for winter. But I have no idea how that would effect cooking heat or time. Or even if it's wise.

If it's not too late to reply to posts on this one, do you have any ideas on this?

7:52 PM, February 16, 2011  
Blogger angela said...

Do you think this tart would freeze well? We have a lot of plums right now and it would be nice to use them up and have emergency cakes.

12:58 PM, April 18, 2011  
Blogger Molly said...

Angela, I do think this tart would freeze nicely. You might lose some of the crispy texture around the edges - winding up, then, with a more uniformly cakey / chewy result - but I don't think that's a big deal.

7:11 PM, April 18, 2011  
Anonymous Hima said...

I made this today...and cannot believe how incredibly easy it is and tastes so so good. Good job Molly

6:35 AM, July 08, 2011  
Anonymous Erin said...

I haven't posted before but when I recognized that I was pulling up this page to make this plum tart for about the tenth time I thought it was time to write. Thank you for your blog - I use it all of the time; it's by far my favorite food blog that exists. I love your book, your podcast, your recipes, and your photographs. You deserve the credit for the rave reviews I get about the delicious things I make using your recipes! Cheers, and thanks again.

9:27 AM, July 29, 2011  
Blogger Katie Rankin said...

hiiiyeeeeee Molllleeeeyyyyyy
its me Katie! i want this! i saw jersey boys today and June was there (with Brandon and G-ma in tow). Anyways they had no plums...another time I guess///seee you laterrrr

6:32 PM, October 19, 2013  
Anonymous Yael said...

Hi Molly! I mentioned this post on my blog post about plum cakes/tarts/tortes. Thought you'd like to check it out! http://nosherium.com/2015/08/plum-delicious-afternoon-tea-week-cake/

10:15 AM, August 14, 2015  

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