Monday, September 14, 2009
So Many Plums
Among the treasures Dan and Jane inherited from the previous owners of their 1950s ranch (including a "sausage formula" tacked to the wall in the basement), was a half-dead but very productive Italian plum tree.
Last year, a friend made plum wine with the plums, and the year before someone made prunes. This year, they've been giving a lot away, eating some raw, making pancakes and preserves. Last night, Jane and I decided to do a little baking.
Dan had collected some wild blueberries and huckleberries. We sprinkled them on top of plums tossed with cinnamon for a beautiful crisp. The wild fruit gave it a delicious tartness.
Then we decided to try for a rustic plum tart. The Italian plums are a good choice for tarts because they are naturally drier than regular plums, so they don't create a ton of juice during baking. I had made several rustic apple tarts last fall, but could never get the crust flaky enough, so I was glad to have Jane's expertise. We used a food processor to make the dough (very basic recipe), and Jane rolled it out while I watched, still a little nervous about the crust. Jane had a tart pan, so we first formed the dough up against the fluted edges, then arranged the plum slices that had been tossed with ginger and cinnamon. At the last minute, we decided to fold the edges over the plums, finished it with egg glaze and a little sugar. Thus, I decided to call the tart semi-rustic, as it started as a fancier french-style tart, but ended up a tiny bit more rustic.
After a chili dinner provided by Mike, we decided to eat both the crisp and the tart.
Yummm!!! I was particularly amazed by the tart and its perfect crust. Here is a pic of Dan and Jane in the TEZ (Tart Enjoyment Zone). Mike and I aren't big ice cream eaters, so we had to use our old freezer-burned ice cream, but no one cared.
And this morning we ate the leftovers for breakfast of course!