I missed apricot season. Like, really missed it.

I had a serious hankering for an apricot tart and without realizing it, I spent the whole “summer” dreaming about a luscious and succulent apricot tart served with a dollop of creme fraiche, enjoyed al fresco on some magical balcony overlooking the bay on a balmy summer evening. Needless to say, “summer” in SF lasted for about 3 days, balmy evenings are practically nonexistent here and I don’t even have a balcony. And on top of all that, apricots had an absolutely shite season, coming and going in the span of a week.

So, despite having found the most enticing recipe, there was no apricot tart.


Flash forward a few months… The produce section is looking heartier and more autumnal and I’m introduced to a little fruit that makes me go, “apricot, who?!”

Italian plums! Italian plums! Italian plums!

These little purple-skinned beauties were so enticing and foreign looking that I knew I had to have them. But what to make out of them… Why not revisit that apricot tart recipe, replacing those elusive fucking apricots with my new purple loves? I think I’m on to something…

First, I made the dough. Took 1 ½ cups flour, 1 Tbsp. sugar and ¾ tsp. salt. Added 9 Tbsp cold butter and blended it all with my pastry blender until most of the butter was about pea-sized or larger. In a separate bowl, combined 4 Tbsp with 3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar. The slowly added the vinegar mixture to the dough until it held together when pinched.

Turned the dough out onto an un-floured work surface and kneaded it into a ball. Pressed it into a disc about 1.5 inches thick, wrapped it in plastic wrap and then popped it into the fridge for at least 2 hours.

After the dough had a chance to firm up in the fridge, I rolled it out on a lightly floured countertop…

Transferred it to my tart pan…

Trimmed the edges, pressed the dough firmly into the bottom and sides of the pan and then threw the whole shebang in the freezer while I tended to my little plums!

Then it was time for some real work. Gently washed about a 1 lb of Italian plums. Pitted and halved those suckers. Pitted and halved.

While tasty, mine were beginning to approach too ripe, so they were a bit of a bitch to work with (read: super soft!). I kept destroying the shape of them trying to remove the (quite substantial) pits. But lesson learned – next time, I’ll get firmer ones and will hopefully avoid the mushy, unusable fate that befell about 20% of my purchase!

After they were halved, I sprinkled them with 1/3 cup sugar, 3 TBSP flour, and 1 tsp cinnamon and then tossed to ensure that everything was evenly coated.

Removed the crust from the freezer and arranged the plum halves in a single layer of concentric circles. This is soooo easy to do, but looks sooo fancy. Which I love.

Dotted the top with 2 TBSP worth of cubed butter and then into the preheated oven at 375F for 45 minutes!

And bam! Italian Plum Tart!


Recipe adapted from Orangette & Oprah.