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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Plum Crazy: Recipe

This morning I wandered through the Lynbrook farmers market, which took all of 6 minutes, and purchased only a ball of fresh mozzarella to go with the fresh tomatoes and basil in my garden. I wasn't inspired this week. However, when I went to the grocery store I was inspired by very ripe, very cute, prune-plums that are sometimes called Italian plums. They were small, oval, and had a beautiful purple skin. Each one, even ripe, felt firm. I was game - I love to try anything new.

I picked up a great book from my home cookbook library called "Local Flavors" by Deborah Madison and found a recipe for a plum tart that I used as further inspiration.

Italian Plum Tart
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small bits
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup buttermilk

8-10 prune-plums, sliced
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a tart pan with removable bottom with Pam spray to coat.

In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt. Add in the butter bits and pulse until fine crumbs are created. In a glass measuring cup, mix the eggs together and add in the extracts. Pour in enough buttermilk to bring the measure up to 1/2 cup. Add the liquid to the flour and mix until it forms a thick paste. It will look more like a batter than a traditional "dough." Brush hands with flour and spread the dough into the tart pan.

Arrange the plums decoratively over the dough, leaving about 1/4" of dough around the outside. Pour melted butter over the top of the plums and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Bake for about 45-50 minutes. Remove and cool about 15-20 minutes. Can be made same day - up to about 3 hours before serving. Keep at room temperature.

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