Adapted Amanda Hesser's Peach Tart. Fresh peaches weren't in the store yet, so I swapped in plums and added dried cherries, soaked in bourbon (yum!). Didn't like the idea of oil in the crust, so I used the same total amount of butter ~ everything's better with butter, right? The plums weren't very juicy, so I mixed them with a bit of brown sugar. . which ultimately made the tart a bit too sweet for my own taste, but others who tasted it, loved it! I’m not really a great baker, but this was great fun to do! —Rebecca D.
1. In a small saucepan, add dried cherries, honey and bourbon. Heat on low, stirring to incorporate the bourbon and the honey with the cherries. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes. The honey and bourbon will turn glaze-like as it cools. Put sliced plums in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1/4 cup brown sugar and allow to macerate while you make the crust.
2. Preheat oven to 425. In a mixing bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar. Add in diced, cold butter. Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it is crumbly. Pour milk into a small bowl and add vanilla. Slowly pour half this mixture into the flour mixture and mix gently with your hands or a fork, just enough to dampen; do not over work it. Pour in the rest to make crumbly dough that will hold together when pressed (like wet sand). Transfer the crumbly mixture to a 9.5 inch pie plate (or tart pan) and pat out the dough to cover the bottom of the pan, and slightly up the sides.
3. Starting on the outside, arrange the plums overlapping in a circle over the pastry; filling in the center with any plums that are left; plums should fit snugly. Evenly sprinkle over the cooled cherries. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons of cold, diced butter. Like with the crust, use your hands to rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it is crumbly. Sprinkle the butter mixture over the top of the tart. Bake for 30 minutes and rotate the dish. Bake for another 5 minutes, rotate again and then bake for a final 5 minutes. Tart should look shiny with thick bubbles in between the fruit and the crust should be slightly brown. Cool on a rack. Serve warm or room temperature with vanilla bean ice cream or slightly sweetened whipped cream.