By Samantha
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Yes, The Grazette is alive! A lot has been going on over here (no, I haven’t been taking one massively long vacation) and it’s all good things – promise. Most of my time has been going to developing a customer-experience program for hospitality and tourism businesses within my marketing agency. In addition to that, I took a few classes in food photography (a fun little hobby of mine), I’ve been cooking up a storm with all of the beautiful New Jersey produce out there, enjoying the beach when I can, and overall relishing in the sun and greenery.

Some of you may be following along with me on Instagram, so you didn’t miss me completely. But I was having serious FOMO this last month, not being able to share all of my amazing summer dishes with you! So I am hoping to kick things back into gear with more frequent updates. There’s still plenty of seasonal produce and exciting farm-related happenings these next few months that I am looking forward to connecting with you on.

The question you may be asking: what was so important that I had to come out of hiding to show you? Could it really be this simply sweet sugar plum tart? Yes!

The other night, I had just made an incredible summer paella with fresh Jersey tomatoes, pattypan squash, almonds and smoky paprika. Then my husband said “Dessert?” and I was like, “I’m spent”. But I had just saved this beautiful plum tart recipe, and a basket full of sugar plums that were dying to be used for something delicious.

So I challenge my husband to take on the recipe. He’s made some pretty good cookies from scratch in the past, and his propensity for measurements far exceeds mine. So besides my small contribution to preparing and pitting the plums, this beautiful tart is all the work of my talented husband. And I had to share it with you because if he could do it, then even the most novice of bakers at home could do it too.

His only mistake?

Leaving the leftover tart at home with me while he goes off to work. Because my level of self-control around sweets is at ermmmm… zero 😉

Note: I did not know that sugar plums actually existed outside of everyone’s favorite Christmas play. But I found these at Brick Farm Market and they were grown by Kaufman Farm in PA! If you can’t find sugar plums, you could likely use regular plums as a substitute.

Sugar Plum Tart

Adapted from Smells Like Home

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp baking powder
1 cup quareted sugar plums
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp brandy
1 ¾ cups sugar, divided
8 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
Ice cold water

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Butter and flour a 9-inch pie or cake pan.

Whisk the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder together in a small bowl; set aside.
Cut the plum halves in half again and toss them in a medium bowl with the tapioca/cornstarch, brandy, and ¾ cup of the sugar; set aside for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the dough. Beat the butter and remaining sugar together until light and fluffy, about 1 minute at medium-high speed. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients and stir just until it starts to come together. Add 1 tablespoon of the water and stir the mixture for about 30 seconds, until it becomes crumbly and just holds together when lightly squeezed. If the mixture still seems a little dry at this point, stir in another tablespoon of water.

Reserve about 1 cup of the dough on the side and press the remaining dough into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer and working the dough about 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Pour the fruit mixture evenly over the dough (or neatly arrange the plums in concentric circles if you want the tart a little less “rustic”). Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the fruit.

Bake for 55-60 minutes, until the fruit is bubbly and the crust is golden brown. Cool the tart for 15 minutes before running a knife around the inside edge and removing the sides of the pan.  Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of your favorite local artisanal ice cream!

About the Author

Grazin' in New Jersey since 1988

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