Hey y’all! Here I am sitting in my apartment, belting out Aretha Franklin, and eating this plum tart. Y’all it’s a great feeling! Love that Sunday evening vibe.
So I’m telling you all now. Things are changing. Yes, it’s partly the weather, but it’s also going to be my life. My boyfriend and I went to Portland, Maine for our last summer weekend. What can I say? I loved it. Big shout outs go to Eventide Oyster Company and Vena’s Fizz House. Those were probably my favorite places. Eventide is very well known. It’s, well of course, lots of oysters, but there’s also some amazing other things. 1. They have tiki drinks (You can’t go wrong with a tiki drink… you just can’t!) 2. the lobster roll is amazing! 3. The chips have a seaweed sprinkle on them… guys are you trying to make me cry tears of joy! Vena’s Fizz House was something that I had not read about, but stumbled upon while roaming around the city. It’s a soda shop by day, craft cocktail bar at night, and also a vintage barware shop all the time. Guys, I was in heaven. I might have been slightly heatbroken to have been flying. It might have also been a blessing because there were many many beautiful vintage glasses I would have bought, but couldn’t risk breaking while traveling.
So anyways, I returned home having eaten a lot of lobster and sipped on a lot of beer. And well, Halloween is coming up. And while I don’t want to dress like a slutty bear/bug/cat/deer/alien?, I’d like to at least look decent next to those slutty animals. So now comes on the healthy eating. So this tart, it’s like a “healthy” tart. I say that lightly. Essentially the plums are just not tossed in my usual amount of crazy add ons. I kept it light, and let’s face it I haven’t eaten the entire tart. It’s the little triumphs. But for real, if anyone ever tells you desert is healthy and it’s not fruit with some airy whip cream concotion just tell them they are ridiculous and eat it anyway. But to the point, expect some more veggie friendly meals coming your way. Of course there will be deserts, I’m not totally cutting my sweet tooth out! Let’s not get too crazy.So in comes my desert of the week- this beautiful plum tart. And y’all it’s just so easy. If you don’t have time or just don’t want to mess around for a long time, this tart is easy to cheat. I make my
own puff pastry, but if you want by all means cheat and buy some at the grocery. No one will know the difference!
So what is really fun about this tart is the braid. Put your plums (or whatever fruit you want) in a fun design, sure, but PLEASE make sure to get that puff pastry braided. All you need to do is create one layer of puff pastry as your base (the bottom). Then your going to cut 3 strips and just like with your hair, you braid. You’ll take the first piece, on the left, over the middle, and that first piece will then go under the strand all the way to the right. It’s a simple pattern of over and under.
Make sure to keep your puff pastry somewhat cold. Once it goes to room temperature, it tends to get sticky, and your braid will get messy.
In all probability, you won’t be able to braid the entire crust all the way through. My braids typically get a bit funky when I’ve tried to make one huge braid. So instead, especially if you’re new to braiding a crust, I recommend you make two braids. Leave the ends undone so you can easily combine the two once you put them on top of your base layer.
Once, the braid is on your tart, from there, you’re going to just layer your fruit. If you want to go super plain that’s fine, I’d recommend you at least toss the fruit in a bit of citrus juice (lemon or lime) though. That way you’ve got a bit of extra flavor to your fruit.
BRAIDED PLUM TART
10 oz (2.5 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup cold water
1 tsp salt
2 c unbleached, all-purpose flour
3 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1. Cut 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter into 1/2 to 1/4-inch dice. Refrigerate while prepping other ingredients. Add water and add salt, stir to dissolve.
2. Coarsely dice remaining 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter. Place flour in bowl of food processor, add 4 tbsp butter and pulse until butter is absorbed (about 12 seconds).
3. Add remaining butter and pulse once or twice to evenly disperse. Add water and pulse dough 3 or 4 times, just until dough forms a rough ball. Do not over do it. No one wants an over processed puff!
4. Flour your work surface and scrape dough out from the bowl. Shape dough into a rough rectangle and place between 2 pieces of baking paper. Press dough with rolling pin to flatten, roll dough out to make an 12 inch square.
5. Refrigerate for about an hour, until puff pastry becomes firm.
6. Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut 6 pieces for the crust. About half an inch each. Put pieces on plate or tray and place in freezer while you prepare the base layer.
7. Spread remaining dough at the bottom of your pan. Use your fingers to spread the dough to the edges, this is when it’s good to have your pastry completely thawed as it will move much easier.
8. Remove crust pieces from freezer. Take three pieces and braid using the over and under method described in the above description and diagram. (If you didn’t read the above text, um what are you doing?? Jk I totally do that too! You are going to want to braid the crust in 2 parts and combine together. Leave the ends of each braid open so you can easily add them to the other braid.)
8. Cut fruit (I cut my plums into 1/12th slices… 12 slices from 1 plum). Toss fruit in lime juice and sugar. Sprinkle black pepper. Toss a bit more to evenly disperse the pepper.
9. Position fruit on tart. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until tart is golden.
And just like that, you’ve made a delicious plum tart. Aren’t you special?