Sunday, August 27, 2006


Dapple Dandy Pluot Tart

I have a great love of tarts, especially plum tarts. I have made Ina Garten's version of a plum tart several times now, but I decided, for the sake of not being repetitive, to amend her recipe. Last time I made it I accidentally forgot to add the egg yolk, and it did not make a marked difference to the outcome. I suppose, then, the the yolk either acts to ensure the tart base is bound and perhaps to add depth of color. I decided this time, too, to consciously omit the yolk - this is good news for those particularly concerned about their cholesterol intake.

So, yesterday, while at the Long Beach Farmers' Market, I came across Dapple Dandy pluots (pluots are a hybrid of plums and apricots). They have greenish-yellow skin with red blushes, and their flesh is white and red. Taste wise, they have the sweetness of plums with the well-rounded depth of apricots.

In the final analysis, for this tart, the Dapple Dandy pluots were no different to the plums I usually purchase (with red skin and flesh the color of a saffron stain). I think the walnuts really come through on the palate, and the pluots add a lower note in taste and a succulence in texture. It must be said that in terms of sheer end result, the pluots add a gorgeous blush, a light pink, under the buttery topping (which is really the same stuff as the base, but it hasn't been pressed into the mold).

Eric and I enjoyed it with Ina's fabulous Vanilla Bean and Armagnac ice cream - the most expensive ice cream you will ever make, but it is indeed heavenly.

Dapple Dandy Pluot Tart
(This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Parties!)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 brown sugar (Ina suggests light brown, but I use dark)
1 1/2 sticks (169.5 g) cold unsalted butter (diced)
2 pounds (5 medium sized) pluots (or plums), pitted and quartered

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (200 deg. c.).
2) Combine flour, walnuts, and sugar before adding butter. Once butter added, mix until crumbly (it is easier to do by hand than with a mixer). This is the tart base mixture.
3) Press 4/5 of the tart base mixture into a 10" tart pan; it is easier if you press into the fluted sides first and work your way to the center.
4) Arrange the pluots on top of the tart mixture, skin side down, and in a concentric pattern.
5) Toss the remaining 1/5 of the tart base mixture evenly on top of the pluots.
6) Bake tart in the oven for 40-50 minutes (until tart mixture is lightly browned and the pluot juices are bubbling).


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