Plums & Rosemary

Plums tart baked on sweet rosemary shortbread

Can you tell it’s fall? Well I do – All I want to do is cook and bake non-stop! And I am pretty sure I am not the only one 🙂 I must admit that if there is one thing I LOVE about Autumn/Winter (yes I used the word love related to Winter) it’s that urge of cooking comforting food: roasts, tarts, stews, soups, pies…

I don’t know about you but my favourite veggie shop have stalls packed with plums lately and they are gorgeous! While they’re great as a snack, I love folding them into simple fall desserts. They add a soft sweetness to everything from cakes to tarts to pies, and variations and inspiration abounds!

Plums tart baked on sweet rosemary shortbread

You know that taste of Christmas? That combination of spices that immediately takes you back to a happy, wintery time? Well I just found the perfect combination that will help your taste buds transition to fall flavours.

A little while ago I started experimenting with fresh herbs, spices and fruit, trying to combine them all in tarts or cake. I found it really fun to smell fresh herbs and imagine which fruit will compliment it the best. My best result at the time being the Lemon and thyme moist cake.

So when I first saw the huge stall of plums I thought why not continuing that little experiment and find out which aromatic herbs will work well together with the plums in a tart. And I don’t know why but rosemary kept calling for me. May be because the plums I found where coming from Italy or may be because rosemary has that really earthy flavour but in the end it turned out great! The tart had the perfect mixed between sweet and earthy flavour which make for a great dessert without being heavy on the stomach…

…Unless you like to serve it with dollop of fresh sweet whipped cream… 😉

Plums tart baked on sweet rosemary shortbread

Sublime Italian plum and rosemary tart:

Serves 6
Cooking time: 30mins

Ingredients for the rosemary shortcrust pastry:

– 450gr plain flour
– 1tbsp caster sugar
– 2tbsp brown sugar
– 150gr cold butter
– 1 egg
– 1tbsp rosemary, finely chopped

Method:

Process the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. While the motor is running add the egg to form a smooth dough and process until just combined. Add the rosemary to the dough and knead it lightly, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30min. Preheat the oven to 180C.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface or between sheets of non stick baking paper until 2/3mm thick, or whatever thickness you want and line in your tart tin.

Place a piece of non stick baking paper over the pastry and fill with baking weights (or uncooked rice). Bake for 10min, remove the weights and reserve.

Note: While you crust is pre-baking you can start with the plums.

Ingredients for the plum filling:

– 16 (Italian) prune plums
– 100gr sugar
– 2tbsp ground cinnamon
– 2tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
– juice of 1 lemon

Method:

Keep the oven running at 180C

Slice each plum into four equal slices and discard the pit. Gently stir the sliced plums with the sugar, ground cinnamon, rosemary and lemon juice together in a medium bowl. (It might seem like there is too much dry mixture, but as the plums release their juices it will turn into syrup.)

Once the crust is pre-baked, stir the plums and sugar mixture thoroughly to coat the plums in their syrup. Arrange the plum slices slightly overlapping each piece. Use a spatula to scrape all the syrup from the bowl and drizzle over the arranged plums. Place the tart in the oven and bake for another 45min at 180C until the edges are golden and the plums are soft and orangey red.

Remove the plum tart from the oven and allow to cool for at least 40 minutes before serving. Serve warm with whipping cream or a scoop of ice cream. Enjoy!

Wine recommendation:

I am going to be arrogant on this one and tell you to do it as the French would. Pair your Italian plum tart with a sweet Sauvignon blanc – a good ‘Sancerre’ will do the trick. If you have a sweet bottle, in Bordeaux, the classic match is foie gras. but also creamy blue cheese, or caramelised peaches or plums… that should give you enough ideas to satisfy any food cravings 😉

The Dutch boyfriend’s opinion:

Cooking and baking is not something I do for fun. However, I like making a typical Dutch ‘appeltaart’: full of cinnamon and Jonagold appels with a sweet dark crust. Raphaëlle’s plum tart resembles my apple pie: cinnamon, sweet dark crust and a fruit basis. The crust was not to heavy on the stomach, and the amount of cinnamon was perfect. The plums were good, too bad though they did not stand out “more” in the pie.

Rating: 7/10

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17 thoughts on “Plums & Rosemary

  1. Plums and rosemary? Very original and intriguing! To fix the issue raised by Dennis of the plums not standing out, would it be possible to include dried plums (i.e. prunes) sonehow?

      • Sandra provided the answer to my problem! Seems like what I need to do is roasting the plums first in the oven for about an hour or so which would dried them up a little and increase the flavours. Perfect middle men between fresh & dried plums 😉

      • Agreed! Like dried tomatoes. It also resonates with my instinct that blind baking isn’t strictly necessary for this cake, although to make that work you should use heat from below and position the rack below the middle.

      • I thought the same about blind baking – I just did it because I wasn’t sure if the plums would give out a lot of juices and wanted to be sure the sought was properly cooked. In the end it was just right but I am pretty sure that if you do roast the plums then there is definitely no need for blind baking.

  2. This sound really delicious. Re boyfriends comment, some plum varieties are not very dintinct in flavour. Roasting the plums before you added them to the tart would intensify the flavour. Simply halve them, sprinkle with a little sugar and put them on a wire rack in a slow oven for an hour or so. They would need to be cooled before making the tart. I know this turns a quick tart into a big job, but the flavour would be much more intense.

  3. Thanks lovely Francesca 🙂 I had been dreaming of a rectangular baking form for about a year now so when I found one the other day at the shop near by my apartment I just bough it . It was fate! And I have to say it is also really handy cause you can make a smaller tart just for two.

    • Thank you – the rosemary kept calling for me. I wanted to try, did it and I am quite happy with the results it’s a realy nice balance of sweet and earthy flavours 😉

  4. Pingback: Grilled Peaches & Rosemary | FAIT MAISON

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