Little Jack Horner sat in the corner
Eating his Christmas Pie.
He put in his thumb
And pulled out a plum
And said what a good boy am I.
Mrs. Horner would have loved this no-fail recipe. The crust is pressed into the tart tin. You don’t need any special equipment to make it. You can serve it warm or at room temperature. And if there is any left after dinner it keeps very well. Something Jack would have liked very much.
PLUM TART – MAKES ONE 9 1/2 INCH TART
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
12 tablespoons (6 ounces, 1 1/2 sticks) small diced cold unsalted butter
1 large size egg yolk
2 pounds firm, ripe Italian prune plums, pitted and quartered lengthwise
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk the flour, walnuts, and sugar in a large bowl.
Wash the plums and cut them in half lengthwise
Work the butter into the flour mixture – with a pastry blender or your fingers.
Add the egg to the centre of the mixture and using a fork work it into the mixture until it is crumbly. (You can do this by hand or with an electric mixer)
Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture for the topping. Press the remaining mixture into a 9 1/2 inch tart tin with removable bottom or a springform pan.
Arrange the plums in the pan, skin-side down, to form a flower pattern; begin at the outside and work your way in. If your plums are quite large quartered them lengthwise.
Sprinkle the 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture evenly over the plums . Bake the tart for 40-50 minutes, or until it’s lightly browned and the plum juices are bubbling. Watch carefully as the tarts edges may brown quickly.
Remove from the oven and cool for 10-15 minutes on a rack. Remove from the pan and transfer the tart to a flat plate.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
There’s nothing like gilding the lily – or the plum tart. You can accompany this delicious tart with vanilla ice cream , or the ultimate indulgence whipped cream flavoured with Armagnac.