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Monday, August 6, 2007

Rustic Plum Tart

Make use of summer’s bounty. The natural sweetness of dark, ripe plums means no need for added sugar. The succulent ripe plums pair nicely with the sweetness of the dried plums and the heartiness of the wheat crust. This is a simple and quick dessert that gives a rustic European presentation to traditional fruit pie. Better still, using one crust halves the fat and calories found in traditional pies. This rustic construction also makes for an elegant and pleasing presentation. Nice enough to impress guests, easy enough for your family. Gourmands avert your eyes: if you don’t have time to make a crust, using a refrigerated crust from the store will cut down the prep time on this pie to less than 15 minutes.


1/3 C tightly packed dried plums (prunes)
1 Tbsp brandy
1 Tbsp Port wine
½ tsp flour
3 ripe plums, thinly sliced
1 pie crust

In a small capacity food processor, process dried plums, brandy, wine, and flour into a thick paste. Spread the paste over the pie crust to 1.5 inches from the edge.

Halve three ripe plums. Remove the pits. Thinly slice. Arrange on top of the pie in a fan pattern to the edge of the plum paste.

Fold the edge of the pie crust over the fruit, pressing gently to seal.

Optional: crush ¼ C walnuts and sprinkle around the edge where the filling meets the crust.

Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. When you remove the peasant pie from the oven, set aside to cool slightly. Serve slightly warm. Delicious with a dollop of whipped cream or ¼ C of vanilla ice-cream. If you make your own ice cream, consider making either cinnamon ice cream or ginger ice cream as an accompaniment.

If you prefer a glossy presentation: Microwave 1 Tbsp of Muscat jelly (if you don’t have, use other commercially prepared wine jelly or apricot jelly) for 45 seconds on high. Brush the liquid jelly on the fruit filling with a pastry brush.

Presentation Variation: If you prefer individual servings, roll the crust out. To cut out individual crusts, use a biscuit cutter or the mouth of a glass approximately 1 inch larger than the mouth of the baking vessels. Press crusts into the individual baking vessels. Spread a dollop of the plum paste into each. Rather than slicing the plums, cut to ½-1 cm dice. Distribute diced plums among individual vessels. Bake for approximately 15 minutes on 350 degrees

10 servings. Per serving: 90 calories, 4.2 g fat, 0.8 g fiber, 82 mg sodium

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