Since moving to LA, one of my favourite new past-times is to the Wednesday food market in Santa Monica. Its where all the chefs get their restaurant produce, and it was showed to me by a lovely friend who works as a food stylist… So I can’t go wrong. The heavenly purple plum is in season, and I scooped up a bundle to use for baking.
VANILLA PLUM TART WITH SPICED PISTACHIOS
Pate Brisee (pie crust)
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon castor sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/8 to 1/4 cup (30 – 60 ml) ice water
Approx 10-12 small plums
1/2 Tblsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter for baking
1/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp all-spice
Directions for Pate Brisee:
- In a food processor, put the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse small pea-sized lumps. Pour 1/8 cup water in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube until the pastry just holds together. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a pastry cutter to cut the cold butter into the flour.
- Turn the pastry out onto your work surface, gather it into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the pastry to fit into a 13″ long, rectangular tart tin. The pastry should be about an inch larger than your pan.
- Lightly roll the pastry around your rolling pin, dusting off any excess flour as you roll. Unroll onto the top of your tart pan and gently press the pastry into the pan. Roll your rolling pin over top of pan to get rid of excess pastry. Cover and place in the freezer until firm, several hours or even overnight.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
Directions for Plum Filling:
- With a sharp knife, cut the plums in half, length-wise (from the stem to the bottom). They should twist apart easily. Remove the pit and stems, then cut the halves into quarters.
- Cover the plums in sugar and vanilla extract and stir until the plums are generously coated.
- Roughly chop the pistachios and sprinkle with all-spice. Roast in the oven for about 5-10mins on a baking tray.
- Remove the frozen tart from the freezer, and quickly arrange the plums – skin side up – in a neat row. The plums should be crowded but not covering each other. Drop small cubes of butter over-top. You can sprinkle some more sugar on top as well at this point (only about 2 Tblsp).
- Bake for 40-50mins.
- Sprinkle the tart with spiced pistachios.
**I had some left-over dough and plums. With the excess, I rolled the dough out to about 1/8″ thick, and cut circles with a biscuit cutter, then topped each with one quarter slice of plum. I brushed the sides with egg-wash and baked them along-side the tart – but only for 20mins.