I love a good back pocket recipe, especially one that can be made without the need for special equipment or fancy ingredients but still makes you look like a pro. This tart is one of those recipes. I adapted it from Amanda Hesser's Peach Tart, tweaking both the crust and fruit filling to suit the tastes of my family. I found beautiful plums and blackberries in my market so they took the place of the peaches. I don't love almond extract so I swapped it out in the crust for lemon zest, my mom's trick to her amazing tart crust, and backed off on the olive oil in the original to let the lemon flavor shine through. I tossed a pinch of cardamom into the topping because I think it marries beautifully with plums, but that bit is optional. The end result is a flaky, crusted beauty that lets the simple fruit filling shine through. —Renee Zublic
plus 2 teaspooons sugar
1 1/2 cups
plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
vegetable or canola oil
mild olive oil
cold, unsalted butter
ripe but firm plums, pitted and sliced into 1/2 inch slices
In This Recipe
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a mixing bowl, rub the lemon zest into the 3/4 cup sugar to extract some of the oils from the zest. Using a fork, stir 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the salt into the sugar mixture. Pour the oils and milk over the dry ingredients, give them a quick mix together and then stir them gently into the flour mixture until the ingredients just come together into a dough.
Transfer the dough into an 11 inch round tart pan or an 11 x 5 inch rectangular tart pan. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan with the back of your knuckles. Be firm and push the dough all the way into the corners evenly. The back of a measuring cup is a helpful tool in ensuring the crust is even and smooth once you've gotten it mostly in place with your fingers.
In the same bowl, stir together 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, cardamom and salt. Using a fork or your fingers, press the butter through the dry ingredients until the mixture's texture is pebbly.
Arrange the plum slices overlapping snugly in the tart pan. Tuck the blackberries in between the plum slices. Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the fruit. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the fruit juices are bubbly and the crust is golden. Serve warm or room temperature.