Of Plum Tarts and Philosophy

A woman shares a favorite family recipe and her grandmother's wisdom about men, work, and food.

by Karin Duncker • More.com Member { View Profile }

Mix the sugar, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl, then toss with the plum quarters and let sit while you make the pastry.

Make the pastry base: (Oma made this by hand so that’s the way the recipe is written. There’s no reason why you can’t make the pastry in a food processor if you prefer.)

Mix 2 cups flour, ½ cup sugar and lemon zest in a bowl. Pour out onto a board in a mound. Make a well in the center and put in the beaten egg, cold pieces of butter and half of the lemon juice. Mix the ingredients together with your hands until it just comes together (careful not to over knead). If it’s a little too dry, add in the rest of the lemon juice.

Divide the dough between the two cake pans and pat into place with floured hands. Make sure to bring the dough up the sides about a 1/2 inch or more. Sprinkle the crushed cookies over the dough evenly (this will sop up the juice from the plums as the bake and add a nice almond flavor.)

Lay out the plums “snazzily” (I swear, that’s how my mom wrote it down) in concentric circles in the pans. They should go in skin side down. Sprinkle the slivered almonds evenly over, tucking into some of the spaces between the plums. Drizzle over the juices left in the bowl (if there is a lot, don't use it all - 2-3 TBSP should be enough). Dot the tarts with tiny pieces of butter (about 3/4 tablespoon per tart), then sprinkle 1 tsp of sugar in the raw over the fruit.

Bake at 350°F for 25-35 min or until the crust edges are lightly browned and the plums are soft. Heat the jam and teaspoon of water until the jam is melted – I do this in the microwave. Brush the glaze over the finished tart to give it a nice shine. Serve with a good dollop of schlagsahne (whipped cream)– Oh mein Gott - that’s good eating!

Calories:  Here, I’ll tell you exactly what Oma would have said: "It’s JUST FRUIT!"

Substitutions:  You can substitute peaches or another type of plum, and other cookies such as ginger cookies, biscotti, graham crackers, or even leftover cake crumbs work just fine too.

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