Fourth of July

Plum Tart

September 13, 2009
9 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

I was reminded of this recipe when one of food52's members, Erika Kerekes, wrote about it at In her version, she made the crust savory and topped it with beet greens and cheese. And she inspired to make my own changes. I swapped out the peaches for plums and change the oil in the crust to half olive oil, half canola. The olive oil adds fragrance, and the canola keeps the dough flaky. Small Italian plums are just coming into season, so now is the moment to make this -- enjoy.

Amanda Hesser

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 20 small Italian plums (1 1/2 to 2 lbs), halved if they're small; otherwise quartered
In This Recipe
  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, milk and almond extract. Pour this mixture into the flour mixture and mix gently with a fork, just enough to dampen; do not overwork it.
  2. Pour the tart dough mixture into an 11-inch tart pan. Use your hands to pat out the dough so it covers the bottom of the pan, pushing it up the sides to the edge of the pan. This will be easy if you pat firmly and confidently, but not if you curl your fingertips into the dough. It should be about 1/8-inch thick all around; trim and discard excess dough.
  3. In a bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablesoons flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the butter. Using your fingertips, pinch the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly, with a mixture of fine granules and tiny pebbles.
  4. Arrange the plums in concentric circles, cut-side-up on the pastry, leaning against each other like fallen dominos; they should fit snugly. Sprinkle the pebbly butter mixture over top (it will seem like a lot). Bake for 35 to 45 mimutes, until shiny, thick bubbles begin enveloping the fruit and the crust is a nut brown. Cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, preferably with large dollops of whipped cream.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Rupa
  • Bevi
  • michelle
  • Emma Aline
    Emma Aline
  • Giustina
Amanda Hesser

Recipe by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.

52 Reviews

Rupa July 20, 2020
Absolutely delicious and so easy - will definitely be going into my regular rotation of summer desserts. It's so nice not having to worry about refrigerating, rolling out, and blind baking the crust. I'm glad I remembered to put a baking sheet under my tart pan, as the mixture did bubble over quite a bit!
Bevi October 22, 2019
I recently made this plum tart to use up the prune plums I bought for the Marian Burros plum cake. I ran out of enough plums to fill an 11" tart pan, so filled the center with fresh blueberries. A beautiful ombre tart came out of the oven, and the two fruits were delicious together in the tart. I find this to be a good trick when faced with not enough fruit for either peach or plum tarts. Blueberries are perfect.
Sixblade K. September 15, 2018
Delicious. Had a bunch of extra plums from a farm box. This was an excellent way to enjoy them. One of the best desert recipes on here.
Amanda H. September 15, 2018
Happy to hear you liked it!
Margie L. July 5, 2018
I will need to freeze some plums, can this be made with frozen plums?
Amanda H. July 6, 2018
I haven't tried it with frozen plums; it should work but I'd add another tablespoon of flour to the crumble topping mixture to help thicken the extra juices from the defrosted plums.
Lux J. July 25, 2017
I'm planning to do this tart this week but I am wondering what size is the tart pan? I only have a 18cm (7in) and a 32cm (12,5in) pan so I may need to modify the quantities...
Amanda H. July 25, 2017
Thank you for asking this question because I hadn't realized I forgot to add the pan size! It should be an 11-inch pan (I just edited the recipe to reflect this). I would recommend using your 12.5-inch pan and increasing the amounts by 1/4. Hope this helps!
Lux J. July 27, 2017
Thank you for the advice, I baked it this afternoon and it came out incredibly delicious!:) My only issue is that it's really crumbly and while its not a problem for me, while I'm stuffing my face near the kitchen sink, but I made it for my colleagues and I'm worried about the presentation:) Do you think I over-baked it (it came out relatively brown, bit on the over done side)? Or it's supposed to be this crumbly, like the base of a cheesecake? Do you have any advice how to avoid this next time? (Because there are going to be many many more next times:)
Amanda H. July 29, 2017
I would add 1 more tablespoon of oil to the dough so it's a little more moist and sticks together better.
barbarac July 8, 2017
Amanda, thanks so much. I have made this fantastic tart for the past three years. Having a family of omnivores, vegetarians and vegans, this is one tart we call all enjoy (omitting the butter in the final crumble!) It is so delicious, and , to our family, the epitome of summer and the beautiful fruit of our Pacific NW!
Amanda H. July 8, 2017
So glad to hear this!
barbarac July 8, 2017
Florence L. February 16, 2017
Just making it for the second time. This recipe is priceless!! Huge success!!
michelle September 13, 2016
This is in the oven as I type this! I can't wait to try it. How does the skin break down? I've never been a fan of chewy skin in tarts/soup/cooking in general. Beatific photos by the way.
IEH September 13, 2016
This was fabulous! I'd never made pastry with oil before but it was amazing - so flavorful and shortbready! Mine cooked to perfection in a convection oven in 30 mins. Definitely a keeper!
Emma A. June 18, 2016
I love this tart, and have made it many times (my go to recipe to bring to a family party), but my cook time is never 35-45 minutes! At 45 minutes I always still have unmelted sugar crystals covering the middle of my tart. Does anyone else experience this?
Giustina March 1, 2016
Wonderful and simple recipe! I used black plums that are somewhat out of season and not sweet at all. I was surprised how jammy and beautiful this tart was when it finished in the oven. The crust was flaky and delicious albeit delicate so my slices often came out looking less than perfect. I like less sugar in my desserts so I may try 2/3 cup sugar next time for the topping instead of 3/4 cup. Perhaps even less sugar if my plums are actually sweet and in season. Even as is, this recipe makes for a lovely dessert. You can't go wrong making it!
Giustina March 6, 2016
I can confirm that 2/3 cup sugar worked out great for me the second time around. Also, I'd like to note that I used regular black plums (instead of small Italian plums) and only 6-8 regular plums are needed for this tart. Again, wonderful recipe!
Amanda H. March 7, 2016
Thanks for reporting back!
Jessica October 3, 2015
I was skeptical about the crust, but ... YUM!! Great combination with plums. I'm definitely going to try other fruits.
Liza's K. March 13, 2015
Am I missing something? Why is this categorized as a slow cooker recipe?
Amanda H. March 13, 2015
Not sure why this happened -- just fixed it!
Cydney August 23, 2014
What kind of "pan" did you use?
em-i-lis August 23, 2014
Fluted tart pan w removable base
danette July 26, 2014
did I miss where to cut the plums? just in half am assuming if they are the small plums.
Amanda H. July 26, 2014
Yes -- halves if they're small. Thanks for pointing this out! I'll fix it now.
em-i-lis May 13, 2014
This remains one of my all-time favorite desserts. As plums just aren't quite here yet, I made this last night with rhubarb and velvet apricots. Amazing!
Amanda H. May 13, 2014
Oooh! Like the sound of this!
em-i-lis May 14, 2014
Seriously good and beautiful too!
Here starts my summer o' plum tart eating!
SarahZiker July 24, 2013
It is just me and my man at home...we could make the whole pie and eat it of course...but has anyone tried to make a smaller portion? In a cupcake dish perhaps?
gustus July 17, 2013
The peach version of this is now part of my summer peach season repertoire, and this looks like a great line extension. I had also wondered how to convert the crust to make a savory tart, so thanks for the reference to Erika's recipe, which I easily found on I'm looking forward to experimenting with different fillings for both sweet and savory versions.
giuia.grady June 22, 2013
This was fantastic! It has become my go-to tart and have taught my 11 year old to make it. It comes together so quickly and easily. It got fabulous compliments at gatherings and even the husband who never eats plums loved it. I served it with marscapone-whipped cream as suggested by another poster. Great recipe!
Amanda H. June 22, 2013
Thanks for your feedback -- and glad your husband has come around to plums!