Saturday, August 29, 2009

I'm back with an awesome Plum Tart

Hey people! I'm back from my big baby hiatus (or so i think). I went to watch the movie Julie and Julia and was inspired to get back on the blogging bandwagon. After the haze of the first 3 months, things have settled down into a smooth rhythm with good sleep schedules and lots of fun interactive times. I've gotten used to managing work and home (although I have my in laws helping me out now). Come October, Sahana starts child care with which life might hit some hiccups and after a few days I think the three of us shall sail smoothly on our own. So with my MIL taking charge of the kitchen little is left for me to do in there. I have still managed to sneak in a few recipes now and then. Here is one that came out really well. I came home to find Martha Stewart's everyday food magazine in the mail and it had a whole plum section in it. For the first time ever there in front of me were 6 giant plums sitting on the counter. Yaaaay! So began my first attempt at making a tart and as you will see it went pretty well.

It was my first attempt at making any kind of pastry from scratch and my first tart ever. So here is Martha stewart's recipe for a plum tart tweaked slightly by me.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (extra to roll pastry)
2 sticks COLD unsalted butter, cut into tiny chunks
8 tablespoons sugar plus one tsp more (maybe more if your plums are a bit tart like mine were)
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup iced water
1/4 cup toasted almonds
6 plums (any kind: i mixed red and black plums)
Milk or cream to brush the pastry

Combine flour, butter, salt and 1 tsp sugar in a food processor and pulse the dough. Slowly add iced water till dough is crumbly but holds when squeezed. Martha says not to over mix. Shape the dough into a ball, flatten the top, wrap in saran wrap. Refrigerate for one hour.
Grind almonds, 3 tblsp sugar and 2 tblsp flour and grind into a fine meal.
Halve the plums, pit them and slice into thin slices keeping the sliced plum together.
Roll out dough into a 1/4 inch thick circle. Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Transfer dough to the sheet. Sprinkle almond mixture onto the dough. Transfer sliced plums to the pastry and fan out the plums leaving a slight border. I arranged the plums if my fanning didn't work too well and also just placed pieces of plums in the center to not waste those not so perfect pieces. Fold the edges of the dough over the plums. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. Brush the crust with milk/cream. Sprinkle 4-5 tblsp sugar onto the tart (i sprinkled more since my plums were tart). Bake at 350 degrees till the crust is golden brown and cooked which was about an hour in my oven. Serve on its own or with vanilla ice cream.