Plum Tart with Lemon Shortbread Crust

A few weeks ago I was looking through recipes on the internet when I came to a screeching halt…… Plum Tart with Lemon Shortbread Crust.  Pretty concentric circles of shiny thinly sliced plums on a lemony shortbread crust – oh my !! I just had to try it.

Now we all know that pastry and I are not BFFs. So the idea of a shortbread crust that you just pat into the tart pan was appealing.  Well, MOST of the tart turned out well, but, as you’ll see from the photo – the side crust got a little overdone.  I did cover the edges with foil, but apparently not early enough. Oh well, don’t let my faux pas dissuade you from trying this tart.  It was delicious – and a great companion to the Lemon Olive Oil Ice Cream I made to go with it.  Yes Olive Oil ice cream….. but that’s another post.  This recipe from Fine Cooking is a little lengthy, but none of the steps are difficult.  Just take your time. It needs to sit for 2 hours before serving, so it can must be made in advance.

Plum Tart with Lemon Shortbread Crust







Plum Tart with Lemon Shortbread Crust

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup plus 1/2 Tblsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tblsp corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 6 ripe medium black or red plums, pitted and sliced thinly

Tart Shell Ingredients:

  • 8 Tblsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, and more for the pan
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp firmly packed lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup plus 3 Tblsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

2 Tblsp plum or apricot preserves


  1. Prepare the filling by whisking  the filling sugar, cornstarch, salt and lemon zest in a medium bowl.
  2. Add the sliced plums and toss to coat evenly.
  3. Cover the bowl and chill a least 3 hours, or overnight.
  4. To start the crust – lightly butter the sides and bottom of a 9 1/2 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
  5. Put the butter cubes in the freezer.
  6. In a small bowl whisk the egg yolk, lemon  zest and vanilla.  Set aside.
  7. Put the flour, sugar and salt in a processor and pulse to combine.
  8. Add the butter to the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture is crumbly (approx 25 pulses).
  9. Add the egg yolk mixture to the flour mixture and blend, using long pulses until the mixture forms into a moist crumbly dough ( approx. 15 long pulses).
  10. Transfer the dough to the tart pan.  Use a flour coated flat bottom measuring cup to press the dough into pan, starting with the sides, which should be 1/4 inch thick.
  11. Wrap the tart pan in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (up to 1 day). I recommend doing steps 1-11 early the day you want to serve this – to break up the preparation.
  12. Blind bake the crust – Preheat the oven to  375 degrees F and position the oven rack to the lowest position.
  13. Unwrap the tart and prick the bottom of the crust with a fork, several times.
  14. Spray a side of parchment paper or foil with cooking spray ( or use the release foil) and line the tart shell with the foil,, sprayed side down. Fill with dry beans or pie weights.
  15. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
  16. carefully remove the foil and pie weights, reduce the heat to 350 and return the tart to the oven to bake for an additional 1o-15 minutes, until the tart shell is golden brown.
  17. Cool the tart in the pan in a rack for 20 minutes.
  18. Finishing the tart – drain the plums in a sieve or colander, set over a medium bowl to capture the juices.
  19. Pour the juice into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until very thick (about 3 minutes). Scrape the juice into a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes.
  20. Meanwhile melt the apricot preserves until syrupy. (I used the microwave).
  21. Pour the apricot syrup over the crust and brush to coat evenly.
  22. With a rubber spatula spread the thickened plum juices over the preserves.
  23. Starting at the edge of the tart, arrange the plum slices in concentric circles, cut side down.  Tuck any remaining slices wherever they fit.
  24. Drizzle up to 1 Tblsp of the remaining juices from the mixing bowl over the plums.
  25. Bake the tart directly on the oven rack  until the plums are tender and caramelizes along the edges. 40-50 minutes.  Check after 20 minutes to see if the crust is getting too brown, if so cover the crust only, not the plums, with foil.
  26. Cool the tart in the pan on a rack for at least 2 hours before unmolding and slicing with a very sharp knife.


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