A Plum (or Dog) By Any Other Name

September 7th, 2011

pluot tart overhead

Taking a brief break from vacation recapping…just a few more stops left to cover! I swear I’ll finish my vacation scrapbook before summer is over!

I couldn’t not post about stone fruit season and the sunset-hued wave of fruits enveloping farmers’ markets right now. If you haven’t bitten into a ripe, outrageously fragrant autumn plum yet, do so. I have a soft spot for Elephant Hearts, but most any variety will do, including the increasingly odd-named hybrid cousins of plums.

Pluots, I can get behind (they’re a big favorite of mine). Or plumcots (essentially the same thing, a cross between plums and apricots). But some other mixes I find a little less mellifluous to my ear: aprium? peacotum? nectaplum? They just don’t have the same appetizing ring. It reminds me of when we went looking for a dog to adopt and discovered all these non-official cross breeds. I knew about goldendoodles and labradoodles, but the mention of shih-poos and whoodles just made me laugh. Not all portmanteaus are meant to be, at least to my ears.

Still, even if cockapoo isn’t the most elegant of names, that’s the dog we ended up with, a sweet little 4 year old rescue that captured us the first moment we saw her. You can call her a spoodle if you must, but we call her Snickerdoodle, or Snickers for short. Some of you who follow me on Facebook may have already seen some photos I put up of her, but so far I’ve refrained from turning this into a pets-and-pastry blog. Since this post has taken a turn for the canine, though, I hope you’ll indulge a few shots of her:

sweeneydog

Shortly after we adopted her. Still a little scruffy and shy, but quickly warming up to us – especially when food is offered.

snickers sitting

Several months later, all cleaned up, and princess of the place. I love her little feet – I call them her stuffed-animal paws. She has learned to beg shamelessly for food in the kitchen, and I am embarrassed to admit I give in far more often than hubby (he grew up with dogs and learned to resist their big sad eyes, whereas I’ve had no such previous experience).

snickers park

I also really love this shot of her from the dog park because she looks so happy. She was probably just closing her eyes in the sunlight, but still. I hope she’s happy in our home  – she’s definitely brought us so much joy. And I promise I’m trying to be a good owner and not feed her too much dessert – even if she begs for it!

Back to fall and dessert: although most of the fruit we bring home doesn’t make it past the eat-out-of-hand stage, I wanted to make a proper dish out of some of our latest bounty of sweet, dark ruby pluots. Thus, this tart of pluots arranged in circles in an almond-scented crust, with brown sugar and orange-flower custard.

pluot tart side

Obviously any plum variety will work, although the smaller the better, so they will fit more easily into the tart. Try to also pick ones around the same size for uniformity when you arrange them in circles. I always brush a little egg white on the tart shell after pre-baking; as it dries it forms a shield that helps keep the tart crust crisp and dry and prevents sogginess after you place the fruit. It’s possible to keep this dessert ultra simple and omit the custard, especially if the fruit is super sweet; the fruit juices will mix with the sugar during baking and caramelize. But I wanted to add a little extra to the tart, so this custard from Fine Cooking seemed ideal. The brown sugar and orange flower cream add a velvety richness to the dessert.

Take a hint from the dogs: go out and enjoy the summer, and the fruits of summer, before they’re gone.

pluot tart slice

Plum and Almond Tart

makes one 9-inch tart

Crust

  • 8 Tbsp (4 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) (140 g) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup ( 1 3/4 oz) sugar
  • 3 Tbsp ground almonds
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract

Filling

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) creme fraiche
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp orange flower water
  • about 2 lbs plums or pluots
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

For the crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the butter in a saucepan or microwave.
  • Combine the flour, sugar, ground almonds, and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Pour in the melted butter and almond extract. Use a fork to combine ingredients until it forms a solid dough.
  • Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. A dough tamper can help you press out the dough evenly.
  • Bake the tart shell for about 25-30 minutes until the shell is golden brown. Let cool while you prepare the filling.

For the filling:

  • Combine the creme fraiche, egg yolk, brown sugar, and orange flower water together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Slice the plums in half vertically and remove the pit. Using a sharp paring knife, cut a V-notch in the bottom of each half.
  • Pour the filling into the tart shell. Arrange the plum halves vertically in overlapping circles, starting from the center. Sprinkle the sugar over the top of the plums.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the custard has just set and the fruit has softened and browned slightly at the edges. Let cool slightly before serving.

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24 Comments so far ↓

  • Natalie #1

    Looks yummy! I love the combination between plums and almonds.

    Natalie

  • sudhakar #2

    This looks great. Love something and almond tarts.I thought it would be a frangipane filling but this looks interesting. Might try it.
    The second pic of doggy is very cute.

  • Stephanie #3

    your dog is sooo cute and this pic in the park is just awesome! Your pie look delicious and I think I’ll try the recipe! I’ll post it on my website, linking you! ;)

  • The Hungry Traveler #4

    How sweet (both the tart and the dog, hee). My aunt and uncle have a cockapoo, she’s adorable but completely hyper – yours seems much more well-behaved!

  • Anna #5

    The tart looks amazing, I love plums. And congratulations on the adorable puppy :D

  • Amy Tong #6

    This is such a gorgeous tart! I think the orange custard layer is lovely with the rest of the flavor in this tart. Gotta mark this recipe on my to bake list before all the stone fruits are gone!

    Those names (fruit or dog) are funny! Didn’t know there are so many variety until you mentioned! LOL

    Snickerdoodle is super adorable! Love that smiley picture of hers in the park, too. Thanks for sharing.

  • Angela #7

    awww….love your new friend!! I hope Snickers brings you lots of love and smiles!!

  • Scotti #8

    Your dog is a cutie patootie.

    I’m always on the lookout for good recipes for plums. My sister in the foothills has a giant tree that produces hundreds and hundreds of plums. Even after the deer have a dessert party at her house there are plenty for us.

  • El pasticcio #9

    Yummy…this tart looks delicious and the picture is amazing!

  • The Sweetest Vegan #10

    I love this almond based tart recipe

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  • rachel @ sweettarte #12

    your new puppy is SO cute! (and the tart looks great too :)

  • Skippy #13

    Snickers is adorable! Rescue dogs are the best (I have one). I bet she has already volunteered to help clean up in the kitchen if any baking projects rather tragically fall on the floor…

  • Scott at Real Epicurean #14

    This tart looks absolutely amazing! Almonds are a great touch.

  • Chris Nguyen #15

    That plum tart looks so friggin good! It looks beautiful when its cut into one slice…

    Also, love your puppy!
    I would love to try this some time lol

  • Vijitha #16

    Love your puppy. So cute!!!

    Gorgeous looking tart.

  • Jacob #17

    I’ll admit, I haven’t baked much with plums, but this looks really good. I have a hard time doing anything with plums except eating them fresh because they’re just so juicy and delicious!

  • jess☆ @ Multicultural Melbourne #18

    Awww what a gorgeous little dog!!! My dog likes to appear in my blog too :) and the pie looks stunning too, can’t wait for plums to get back in season in Melbourne!!

  • Lemon #19

    Autumn is plum pie time, love your pictures and recipe. Every year I am dedicated to plum pies, again and again…

  • love cooking #20

    This is lovely, both the tart and the dog. :) I think I will try to make this into mini tarts. Just cut the fruits into smaller pieces. Like mini tart because easy to serve or as a gift to friends. :)

  • Annie #21

    Looks delicious. Almond with plum is new to me. I’m going to try it out this coming weekend. And that’s one cute dog!

  • Maia #22

    A delicious way to enjoy the stone fruits before they’re gone. And your pup is absolutely adorable! I am the proud owner of a rescued poodle mix (we’re not sure what his “other half” is – bichon, maltese, ??), too – we just celebrated his first birthday. Strangely enough I also refer to his feet as stuffed animal paws! I got a laugh out of reading that you do too.

  • Lionel #23

    Hi, In Angers (France) we are doing closed green and yellow plums pies with sprinkling sugar on the plums before adding the dough on top. The result is sweet but tangy (sour), it is delicious…, Lionel

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