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
- 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
- Prepare the filling by whisking the filling sugar, cornstarch, salt and lemon zest in a medium bowl.
- Add the sliced plums and toss to coat evenly.
- Cover the bowl and chill a least 3 hours, or overnight.
- To start the crust – lightly butter the sides and bottom of a 9 1/2 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
- Put the butter cubes in the freezer.
- In a small bowl whisk the egg yolk, lemon zest and vanilla. Set aside.
- Put the flour, sugar and salt in a processor and pulse to combine.
- Add the butter to the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture is crumbly (approx 25 pulses).
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Blind bake the crust – Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and position the oven rack to the lowest position.
- Unwrap the tart and prick the bottom of the crust with a fork, several times.
- 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.
- Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
- 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.
- Cool the tart in the pan in a rack for 20 minutes.
- Finishing the tart – drain the plums in a sieve or colander, set over a medium bowl to capture the juices.
- 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.
- Meanwhile melt the apricot preserves until syrupy. (I used the microwave).
- Pour the apricot syrup over the crust and brush to coat evenly.
- With a rubber spatula spread the thickened plum juices over the preserves.
- Starting at the edge of the tart, arrange the plum slices in concentric circles, cut side down. Tuck any remaining slices wherever they fit.
- Drizzle up to 1 Tblsp of the remaining juices from the mixing bowl over the plums.
- 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.
- Cool the tart in the pan on a rack for at least 2 hours before unmolding and slicing with a very sharp knife.