This delight is adapted from a recipe (which looked heavenly) from one of my favourite food blogs – La Tartine Gourmande. I’d seen the blog, salivated over the pictures and when a few days later I was wandering the fresh food market in Antibes thinking, “Hmmm shall I treat the crew to a dessert today?” “Should I make the ever safe yet evil brownie”? THEN, I saw a huge pile of beautiful Quetsches and thought “VOILA! -I’ll make that plum tart I will!”
I was concerned the men folk on board including French captain who knows and loves good food might balk at the original pastry recipe being gluten free, so instead I made mine with wholemeal flour.
I found the oven on the boat somewhat more ferocious than I was expecting and different comparatively to the oven I use more often at the villa, and as you can see by the photos it was a wee on the fragged side sadly. So if I were to bake this again I’d reduce the temp on THIS oven to compensate.
NOTE: You can prepare the pastry a day in advance.
12 fresh quetsches (1kg) (or Italian plums as they are also called)
Short crust pastry recipe of your preference – see below for mine
80 gms ground almond meal
50 gms light brown sugar
Zest of 2 limes
Vanilla seeds scraped from a split open vanilla pod
2T quality cane sugar (for topping)
12 inch tart mould
200 gms of wholemeal flour
A pinch of sea salt
120 g butter, cold and diced
1 large egg yolk
5 tablespoons cold water
In the bowl of your mixer, combine the flour and salt
Add the butter at medium speed until crumbles form.
Add the egg yolk.
Gradually add the water and work the pastry until it detaches from the bowl into a ball.
Remove your ball of pastry from the mixer, dust it with flour, and cover with parchment paper in the fridge, for a few hours or overnight.
Roll the pastry and garnish a 12-inch tart mold. Make small holes with a fork and place in the fridge, covered, for an hour minimum.
Preheat the oven to 220 C.
Half the quetsches and remove the pit. Make a slit at the top of the fruit without cutting each half completely again into quarters.
In a bowl, combine well the sugar, almond meal, vanilla seeds and lemon zest.
Retrieve your pastry from the fridge.
Sprinkle 3/4 of your sugar and almond mix on top of the pastry.
Arrange the fruit on top, I start in the middlie and work outwards, and add the rest of the sugar mixture on top.
Bake your tart in the centre of your oven for 30 minutes, or until the crust is ideally light brown in color, and the fruit is lovely and juicy!
Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with 2 T sugar.
Let cool before serving as is or with greek yoghurt or vanilla ice-cream.
(El capitaine said it reminded him of his grandmother’s tarts she always baked in Autumn. I’m sure mine wasn’t quite as amazing as hers, bless him for not admitting – but he did have seconds, and thirds even!)
This works equally well with Mirabelles and all stone fruits in fact, i’d say. Bonne Appetit:)