I realize that I got off on a little tangent with the coffee and the potato salad but this week I’m back to the tarts! Baked plum is such a familiar and comforting flavor to me. So much so that I actually phoned my mother before writing this post and asked her if she knew why that could be? She confirmed my suspicions by telling me that she used to feed me baked plum and apple baby food and that I had simply adored Gerber’s medley! Now I feel a little better knowing why I have the odd urge to suck my thumb after eating a plum tart.
We were invited to our friends’ house for a family dinner last Sunday and my assignment was dessert. I decided to bake a plum tart before the plums completely disappear for the season. Our friends, Miranda and Tim, grow much of their own vegetables, fruits and herbs and Miranda was a chef for a catering company in New York and currently teaches cooking classes so I knew we were in for a tasty repast.
She made a colorful platter of roasted parsnips, beets, and Calabaza, a Caribbean summer growing squash.
And served grass fed beef which came from an organic co-op member's brother, who raises the cows.
My children were delightfully surprised by the large range of animals that they keep...a black Silkie bantam chicken, a quail, two rabbits, a dog, two cats and a hamster. On the drive home my daughter said something to the effect that their house was better than the zoo....and suddenly our lone dog didn’t seem like enough “pet” for us any longer....
Gertrude, their Silkie bantam chicken, was strutting all around the backyard.
Their quail lays the most delicious eggs.....Miranda gave me these. They look like chocolate eggs don't they?
After supper, she brewed tea with these cranberry hibiscus leaves (from her garden) and green tea leaves. This super comfy tea blend was a lovely end to an early Sunday dinner, along with my plum tart.
Her open shelving of jars with spices, rices, dried beans, peppers and wild mushrooms screamed.......good cook lives here!
My husband stealing Tim's paté right out of his hands with some chopsticks...... and that answers the question "Did they serve you plenty of good wine too?"
And don't worry, if you invite me to dinner, I don't always obsessively photograph every crumb...Miranda graciously gave me permission beforehand.
3 purple plums - pitted and cut into 8ths
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cream
2 tablespoons cognac (or brandy)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons sugar to sprinkle on top
1 recipe pate sucre - basic sweet pastry dough (lightly pre-baked) - here
preheat oven to 375 degrees
Arrange the cut plums in concentric circles around the lightly pre-baked shell. Bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Once the plums are baked, pour the custard over the plums (not completely covering them) and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar on top. Bake for about 20 minutes more or until golden brown. Serve at room temperature with freshly whipped cream.