Thursday, 23 January 2014

Plum tarts




So yeah... I kinda went a bit crazy on the photographing front. Took about 50 photos of these tarts and had a hard time narrowing it down to ten to post here. But I'm sure you guys don't mind the photo spam. I mean, half the people come here probably just to get their dose of food porn right? So feast your eyes away! These tarts definitely are pretty to look at and I really do insist that you try making them so you can feast on them too. The plums loosen up in the heat and release their juices, which entangle with the sugar and butter to yield this rich, tarty, sweet filling. The tanginess of the plums work so well with the pastry. It definitely gives it that extra edge than say if it were a one note sweet fruit... boring... yeah. Although the pastry did turn out really delicate and crumbles in your hands, I think it really is a good pairing - the sharpness of the fruit with the gentle caressing crumbly case. Complimentary right? You can eat it with a spoon.







So yes, give it a go! The original recipe was for one 11-inch tart. But hmmm multiple little ones versus one large one? More is more? Yup, totally in this case. With the little ones, you get a higher pastry to fruit ratio in each bite than with one big one, which is win in my books! So go! Start baking. You have no excuses. You don't need any fancy equipment. Your hands are your mixer. If you don't have a weighing machine, rejoice! Because you don't need one. If you don't have tart cases, worry not, just use a cake tin. Or make little galettes. Or a big one, like this. If you don't have a rolling pin, worry not! Use your hands. You don't even need to use a wine bottle as substitute (which by the way did its job like a boss when my sister and I were baking with my cousin!). You don't even need a bowl to mix the ingredients in. The author of the recipe mixed her pastry straight in the tray. Ok, I think you get the point now, so here's the recipe!

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Plum tarts

Recipe adapted from Amanda Hesser
Serves 8

Pastry

3/4 cups wholewheat flour
3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp blended vanilla raw sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup canola or rice bran oil
2 tbsp whole milk or soy milk
Coconut essence

Filling

About 4 plums, pitted and thickly sliced
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 blended vanilla raw sugar
2 tbsp butter, cold

Preheat your oven to 200C. Grease your tart cases.
To prepare the pastry, sift together the flours, salt and sugar. Sift it three times to ensure uniform distribution of salt. Alternatively, stir it with a whisk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oils, milk and coconut essence, then pour into flour mixture and stir together with a fork until just combined. Take care not to over work. Next, transfer the pastry into the tart cases or tart pan and press onto the base and the sides with your fingers. The pastry should be about half a cm thick. 
For the filling, mix together the flour and sugar then using the tips of your fingers, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. 
Line the plums on the pastry in whatever pattern you wish. Sprinkle over the butter crumb mixture. It will seem like an excessive amount of butter crumb mixture but it's ok. If you're making little tarts, I suggest putting all the tarts in a tray, then putting the tray in the oven, for easier handling. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden. If you're making a large tart, bake for about 35-40 minutes. Take care when you're removing the tarts from the oven as they are hot and bubbly. Rest and cool before serving. 
Serving suggestion: with a dollop of natural yoghurt. Yum!



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