We have a big plum tree in our small back yard. Every year the tree gets a lot of sweet plums, with no tending/work required. This is why I call it our “super natural organic plum tree.”
Last year we had very little fruit, because cold, heavy rain destroyed almost all of the tiny white flowers in early spring. But this year, due to a very warm, dry, early spring, the tree is full of more juicy sweet plums than I have seen in 10 years.
Normally, a family with two young girls from my neighborhood comes to pick the fruits over the few weeks of the harvest season, but not this year because they moved away. So we faced a serious problem: neither our other neighbors (squirrels) nor us (humans) could consume the bounty of plums. Consequently, most of the fruit fell onto the ground, and I was the one who cleaned up the mess. In the last two weeks I’ve had to carry out 5-gallon buckets of fallen plums three times! It was so sad to do it and it was hard work, but it had to be done. It’s no wonder so few young people want to be farmers.
Anyway, I made a “super natural plum tart” using the last plums from our tree this season – to honor the wonderful nature of California and our hard working farmers.
Fresh Plum Tart
Makes one 9-inch tart
For almond tart dough:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup almond flour
¼ cup sugar
pinch of salt
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons almond oil (or light olive oil)
¼ cup ice-cold water (plus more if necessary)
About 8-10 fresh, cleaned plums (more if they are small)
4 tablespoons good honey
zest and juice of ½ lemon
2-3 tablespoons of chopped unsalted pistachios or almonds (optional) for the top of tart
Place the dry ingredients (flours, sugar and salt) in a large mixing bowl (or food processor with a plastic dough blade attached). Add the oil first and mix until crumbly.
Then, while mixing, gradually add the cold water – enough for the dough to form a ball or to detach from the bowl if using a food processor. Let dough rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator or 1 hour at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Roll the dough and place it in a 9” tart pan. Trim excess dough at top of pan. Make holes with a fork on the bottom of the dough/crust. Cover the inside bottom of the crust with a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil and fill with some dry (uncooked) rice or beans as weight. Bake 10 minutes, then remove the paper/aluminum foil and the rice/beans, and bake 5 minutes more. Remove the tart pan from the oven and cool it for 10 minutes.
Slice plums lengthwise around (and then discarding) the pit and arrange them nicely in the dough/crust. Mix the honey, lemon juice and zest in a small bowl and drizzle over the plums. Bake about 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest to cool.
Garnish with chopped pistachios or almonds.
Note: It will be beautiful and slightly sour... which is so good!
Wine suggestions: well chilled Muscat wine (e.g., Asti Spumante or Moscato d' Asti - sparkling wine from Piedmont, Italy. Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise - Southern Rhone, France).