Like many of you, I was looking for a home for all the wonderful plums in the market right now, outside of the bag next to my desk, from which I pull a sour little guy every couple of hours as I work, puckering my face dramatically before walking over to the House of Representatives to record a series of insults on the floor.
This recipe caught my attention because it was both fast and easy, made use of ricotta (with which I am slightly obsessed) and required very little brain power beyond sending a telepathic message to thirschfeld that I do not at the present time nor will I ever own ring molds. (I made this in an 8-inch tart pan. So, I suspect, will you. Please do use the cornmeal. And give a few more minutes in the
oven to account for the larger pan.)
On the first night, when a roll call vote was just a gleam in the eye of both House Speaker John A. Boehner and Majority Leader Harry Reid, I came home from work on the late side, prepped The Best Canned Tuna You Made Yourself, cut up a cucumber from my garden then doused it with some olive oil (“salad course”), and put this tart together, all while explaining to my husband that soon -- very soon! -- I would be quitting my job to open a bakery.
The really good thing about this recipe is that it is really compatible with ranting and raving, because you don’t have to pay a lot of attention, other than to ponder quickly whether or not your honey is mild in flavor, and to carefully cut the plums in an attractive shape so that your tart(s) is pretty. Don’t be over liberal with the butter, just dot as instructed. If for some reason you don’t have brown sugar, I think your raw/cane stuff would do. Watch this carefully in the oven so as not to cross that invisible line between cheese soup and overcooked.
Delicious: eaten before cooled as instructed.
On day two, when it seemed clear that Mr. Boehner was having trouble rounding up votes for his bill, I wandered home around nine, and ate this tart cold from the fridge for dinner with a glass of Prosecco. While not nutritionally all that sound, it will do the trick.
Day three, after Mr. Boehner’s bill was pulled from the floor, I had tart for my midnight snack -- because that is when I got home. By day four, it became clear that I really should not have been eating this anymore, and so that was the end of that. And so, the tart did not outlast the debt ceiling negotiations, but it did its level best.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the drained ricotta into a mixing bowl. Add the yolks, cream, lemon zest, honey and a healthy two pinches of salt. With a wire whisk mix until well combined. Ask a question about this step.
Butter and dust with the cornmeal four 3 1/2 inch ring molds. Place the four ring molds onto a parchment lined sheet tray. Dust the bottom of each mold with enough cornmeal that you make a thin layer. Dividing the ricotta equally into each mold smooth and spread it out. Ask a question about this step.
Attractively fan out the plum slices across the top of each tart. Sprinkle with a healthy layer of brown sugar across the top and then dot each tart with five 1/8 inch square cubes of cold butter. Ask a question about this step.
Bake in the oven for twenty minutes. Remove from the oven and let them come to room temperature. Run a thin bladed knife around the edges to loosen the tart from the mold. Carefully lift the mold. Plate the tartlets and serve
By day, Jennifer Steinhauer, aka Jenny, covers Congress for The New York Times. By night, she is an obsessive cook.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).