Thursday, 30 July 2009

Tuscan Plum Tart and Other Miscellaneous Plum Madness

I’m almost too tired to type. So far this ‘Early River’s Prolific Week’ I have made 20 lbs of 62% fruit/38% sugar Plum Jam, five litres of Plum Gin, 30 bottles of Old Dower House Plum Chutney, 20 bottles of Old Fashioned Plum and Beetroot Chutney, three Tuscan Plum Tarts, hence this post. I’ve been asked to publish this recipe, went down a storm at L’s birthday picnic last weekend.

Tuscan Plum Tart (taken from Darina Allan’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course)

7-10 oz sugar
4-5 fl oz water (I use Plum Wine but water is fine)

2lbs Plums
5 oz soft butter
5 oz vanilla sugar (homemade is cheaper and easy) or plain sugar will happily do
8 oz self-raising flour
3 free-range eggs

one 10inch sauté pan or cast-iron frying pan

Preheat oven to 170c/325F/Gas 3
Put sugar and water into pan and boil over medium heat to caramelise until golden. Leave to cool and set.

Halve and stone plums and lay cut side on set and cool caramel in a single tight layer.

Put butter, vanilla sugar, flour into mixer and wiz, add eggs and stop as soon as smooth. Spoon over plums evenly.

Bake carefully for an hour, testing centre for firmness, sides should shrink a little from edge of pan. Cool for 4-5 minutes, invert onto plate. (I sometimes prick the sponge through the plum stickiness and drizzle with a spoonful or two of Plum Gin for extra yumminess). Finish, enjoy!

Tomorrow, it’s Plum Wine Day, another 60 lbs to stone for 20 litres of wine. (Thank God ‘River’s’ is a free stone). Two more heavily laden gage trees to go.
Below, Blackberry and Black Peppermint Sorbet freezer bound and bottles and sugar queuing up for processing by the kitchen door.


Carol said...

Very tart and tantalizing ... you must be exhausted from all that work. Lovely lovely photos and I am sure all the recipients of the fragrance and flavor of your delectable gifts are so in applause.

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Very nice indeed. I have to avoid most sweet stuff at the moment as I need to drop a few pounds! That said it's hot and dry here again so I'm lugging watering cans around which is a workout alright.

Have you a glut of fruit, is it a good year?

Talking of good years, I wonder how the 2009 wine vintage may pan out. My vines (decorative only) have loads of buches of grapes. I guess the yield is up due to a dry May, the flowering didn't get battered unlike last year. I know that we have August and September to come, but if the weather pattern continues it may be a good year.

I like the sound of your chutneys.

artslice said...

Wow, all that canning sounds great... lucky you come winter time. The plum tart is gorgeous! Have a good weekend.

Woodland Fay said...

Many thanks all for your lovely comments. Sorry, I'm not getting around to all of your blogs right now but if I tell you it's now after 2am and it's the first time I've been able to open my laptop today (well yesterday) you'll get the picture.
Carol thanks. Not taking and making my photo journal during harvest time, but hope to get back to photography soon. Wish I could send a bottle or two of something plumy down the line to you.
Rob This year is a cracker. Yes, I agree it was the spring weather. A bit worried about the vines as the grapes are huge already and we've made holiday arrangements in Sept thinking the harvest would be early Oct. Everything early this year. It's been raining during the night here, good for me and by back, bad for snails or is that the other way around?TTFN
Artslice, great to hear from you, must get a closer look at your resent blogs and drawings soon. Yes, it's nice to have the sweetness of summer in the harshness winter. Many regards. F

Magic Cochin said...

Oh my!!! that tart is sooooooo yummy! How do I know?

Because I made one this evening with Czar plums, sticky layer included a large splosh of Damson vodka. 10/10 for looks and taste!!!!

(so tempted to have another slice....)

Woodland Fay said...

Celia, pleased you enjoyed it. So simple yet so gob-smackingly delicious and a joy to make. I'm not a cake-maker, only a two oven Aga, unfortunately, never bought myself the cumbersome Aga Cake Baker, need a kitchen the size of an aircraft hanger to keep such old fangled equipement! Last few days of the Early River's here (180lbs picked and counting), made 12 two portion plum and blackberry crumbles for the freezer tonight, the Early Transparent Gage already beckoning! Oh, hell!!

Tom @ Tall Clover Farm said...

I'm not so sure if the term "couch potato" translates, but that's what I feel like after reading your whirlwind of activities. I love it!

And I especially love the plum tart recipe, which I will no doubt be making daily when my lovely English plums (Victoria and Early Laxton) are begging to be picked. Love your blog; it's my first of many visits to come. Thank you. -TC near Seattle

Woodland Fay said...

Thanks Tom. And yes, couch potato reminds me I have been very lax in my blog lately.
Last year we made some rather special plum cider with our tree-breaking crop of 'Warwickshire Drooper' plums called Jerkum, it is said to leave the head clear while paralysing the legs, and I can attest to that! Must blog the recipe before the harvest comes around again. All the best, Fay