Plum Tart/Crisp

August  2, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

Although this dessert looks like a tart or pie, the way it behaves depends on the kind of plum you use. If you use firm varieties, your tart will stay intact. If you use the more common red plum as I did, you are going to get more of a crisp.

The crust is classic crumble with extra stability from an egg yolk and added butter, but with juicy fruit, it's not quite stable enough to preserve the allusion that it's a tart. With soft ripe plums, it will fall apart when cut, so let go of any notion of pretty wedges on a plate and just dig the spoon into it as you would when serving a fruit crisp. It doesn't matter anyway -- it tastes outstanding. Inside the crust are fresh sliced plums tossed with a little lemon zest -- nothing else. The tart/crisp is baked until the plums are bubbly and the crust is golden brown. It tastes sweet but not overly so. It's homemade perfection, which means that although it might not look perfect, it tastes divine. —Waverly

Test Kitchen Notes

I have never been a huge fan of raw plums (I think it is that the skin is a little bitter), which is unfortunate since they're everywhere this time of year. Something happens, though, when you put heat to a plum. It melts into a tarty mash of deliciousness. I liked that this recipe called for peeled plums (it wasn't that difficult) and that the crust was on the top and the bottom. After all, whose favorite part is not the crust? YOU? You're lying! —LooptieLoo

What You'll Need
  • 2 pounds ripe red plums
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped and lightly toasted
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 egg yolk
  1. PREP THE PLUMS: Preheat the oven to 400° F. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Submerge each plum in the boiling water for about 15 seconds. The skin will peel off easily. When all of the plums are peeled, cut them in half, lengthwise. Remove the pit. Quarter the plums and then toss them in a bowl with the lemon zest. Set aside.
  2. MAKE THE CRUST/CRUMBLE: In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, toasted walnuts, and brown sugar. Use you fingers to work the butter and egg yolk into the mixture until it becomes crumbly.
  3. ASSEMBLE THE TART: Butter a 9 1/2-inch tart or pie pan. Press 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups of the dough into the bottom of the pie pan in an even layer. Arrange the plums on top of the crust in an even layer. Sprinkle the rest of the crust mixture on top of the plums.
  4. BAKE AND SERVE: Place pie pan on a baking sheet and bake until the plums are bubbling and the crust is golden brown, about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve right from the pan warm or at room temperature. A little scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side goes very well.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • JadeTree
  • Sagegreen
  • dymnyno
  • Waverly
Waverly used to be a lawyer and is now a mother 24/7. She has made a commitment to cooking for her family and absolutely loves it even when her family does not. She is teaching them, one meal at a time, to enjoy wholesome homemade food. She abhors processed food but recognizes its insidious nature and accepts the fact that her children will occasionally get some Skittles, Doritos, or the like. Her philosophy and hope is that if she teaches them well at home, they will prefer wholesome healthy foods when they go out into the world without her.

5 Reviews

JadeTree July 13, 2013
Favorite new summer crisp! Easy to make with a four-year-old: bonus. I've never made a "double crust" crips before, but everyone heartily approved. When warm or room temp, it is *very* finely crisp, the walnuts especially crunchy and fragrant. But when cold, the plum and lemon flavors are bolder and the crusts turn into slabs of decadent, fine-crumb granola. Delicious! I think cold-out-of-the-fridge the morning after the dinner party is now my favorite incarnation of the crisp. This would be a great beach dessert to have hanging around...for breakfast. And with this version that uses common purple plums, I don't have to wait for the prune plums!
Sagegreen August 4, 2010
Love the look of this. Gorgeous plate, too!
dymnyno August 4, 2010
I agree...the "new" picture really makes your recipe look as delicious as it sounds.
la F. August 3, 2010
Waverly, I think that your recipe sound yummy!! I think you need a better picture. I am not a very good photographer either. Some of the food52 members post pictures that are positively professional!
Waverly August 3, 2010
I have more pictures....thank you for the constructive comment. It was a little difficult to do it justice with a photo...I will try a different one.
PS. Our tart is no more. We finished it off last night. It WAS yummy!