Well, you might have wondered why we picked up a dozen green plums at the CSA this week. We didn’t. We knew that we had some Pâte Sucrée left over from those Triple Berry Tartlets sitting in the freezer and we figured that we could make up a small Green Plum Tart or two. At the time, we had nothing other than the idea in our heads. Let’s see what we scratched out.
With the crust in the freezer waiting to be used, all we had to do was figure out what to do with the plums. We knew that we’d want to macerate them (let them steep along with sugar) along with another flavor of some sort. We thought about cinnamon, but finally settled on cardamom as an accentuating spice. From there on out, it was easy.
Now, this isn’t really a recipe, since it makes only a couple of 5-inch tarts, and uses some under-ripe plums and leftover crust, so we’ll just show you what we did. If you’re a serious scratcher, that’ll be sufficient; if not, well, leave a comment and we’ll include something resembling a recipe.
We used a dozen green plums that we think were thinned from the plum trees. What kind? We’ve no idea, but we will point out that they were sort of bland until they baked in the shell.
We went with two tablespoons of brown sugar (and not white) because we thought it would add a bit more flavor.
We used a single pod of cardamom — too much cardamom can overpower everything else — crushing the seeds. This got added to the plum sugar mixture.
Procedure in detail:
Macerate plums. Slice the plums in half, remove the pits, and place the fruit in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, crushed seeds from 1 cardamom pod, and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir to dissolve sugar, then let macerate for several hours, stirring occasionally.
Roll crust. While the green plums are macerating and releasing juices, roll out some Pâte Sucrée and fit it into small tartlet pans. We used a couple of 5-inch pie plates that were perfect, but you’ll find something appropriate, too. Or, make a small, free-form tart, or gallete.
Freeze crust. Place the crust in the freezer until frozen solid, at least 15 minutes. It doesn’t matter if it’s longer, but, probably 15 minutes is the shortest time. Freezing will help ensure that the crust holds its shape as it bakes — no puffing in spots, so slumping.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place a pan under where you’ll be putting the tarts to catch any drips. An oven will get rather messy if pie filling overflows.
Fill. Take the crusts from the freezer and spread about 1 teaspoon of flour across the bottom so the plum juice will thicken. Divide the plums, and any juice, between the crusts and press the fruit down into an even layer.
Bake. Slide into the oven, over the baking sheet or pan to catch drips, and bake until bubbly and the crust is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
Cool. Place the tartlets on a baking rack to cool completely before serving.
Quite tart and tasty, and a great use for some leftover crust and a few green plums. While this wasn’t really a recipe, per se, it did show that we scratchers can take advantage of what seems like a waste and turn it into a nice dessert. A definite four stars.