Tart Plum Tart
The other day I bought a kilo of lovely-looking red plums at the open-air market. I sliced the first one open, a rich dark red tending toward purple with soft but not mushy flesh. It looked and felt perfect. Then I bit in and tasted juicy but sour and actually a little bit bitter plum flavor. I got a kilo of bad plums. This happens; we all know it. Even Jerry Seinfeld once said; "Fruit is a gamble. I know that going in." And so, I started to think of a way to use these plums without having to make tart plum wincy faces every day until they were finished. I started thinking about making a tart plum tart.
Julia Child has somewhere a fabulous recipe for plum and yogurt tart that I made last summer. The result was sooo delicious and sooo beautiful to behold that I thought, "Why not make Julia Child's plum yogurt tart out of these red plums and just add a bit more sugar?". So a plan was born. Except that going online, I couldn't find the same recipe again. Has anyone heard of Julia Child's plum yogurt tart? I'd love to have the real recipe. JANUARY 26TH, 2007 UPDATE: LOOKING FOR INSPIRATION IN MY "BAKING WITH JULIA COOKBOOK, I FOUND THE RECIPE! IT WAS NOT ON LINE BECAUSE IT COMES FROM LESLIE MACKIE, WHO IS ONE OF THE CHEFS WHO BAKES WITH JULIA IN THE BOOK. NEXT TIME I'LL DO THIS RECIPE RIGHT WITH GOOD PLUMS AND THE ORIGINAL RECIPE.
So I winged it trying to remember as much of the recipe as I could. I know there was a base of yogurt whisked with sugar and an egg and then sugar-macerated, quartered plums. Here's the recipe I remember:
1 lb plums, pitted and quartered
6 tbsps sugar
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tbsp lemon juice (that I didn't put in since the plums were tart enough)
1 sm container of plain yogurt
1 lg egg
6 tbsps sugar
1 recipe of standard pate brisee This recipe works well for me.
Combine the plums, sugar, allspice and optional lemon juice and let macerate until the sugar has dissolved, about 30 minutes. Whisk together the yogurt, egg and sugar. Add the yogurt mixture to your rolled-out pie crust then arrange the plums on top in any order you like. Music to arrange macerated plums by: "I Want It All" by Eve's Plum Pour on the syrup that has formed around the plums evenly onto the pie. Bake for 1 hour in a 350F oven.
This ISN'T Julia's recipe, though. There's something other than the substandard plums that makes this summer's tart so much less desirable. Again, if anyone out there knows Julia's plum yogurt tart recipe, let me know and I'll print it out next time. I have to say the plums taste better in tart form than they did out of hand, but still what TV chefs say is really true: you should use impeccable fruit even in your pies and tarts because good ingredients make a good recipe.