Mini Plum Tarts and a Martha Stewart Pies and Tarts Givaway!

by cakeduchess on September 26, 2011 · 58 comments


I like to snack on dried plums. They actually were one of my favorite snacks when I was a little girl. But back then we called them prunes. Dried plums sounds more sophisticated than prunes. I even remember having a glass of prune juice on occasion. 

I couldn’t pay my kids to drink a glass of prune (or dried plum) juice, but they LOVE desserts with them! It may sound surprising if I told you one of my favorite desserts is made with dried plums. It’s actually an Italian dessert my neighbor’s mamma from Bologna makes. It’s her specialty. When she makes it, Marisa and I will fight over the last slices. I finally taught myself how to make it because I was getting tired of her greediness. I’ll share that recipe another time. 
My kids are sweet. I have to say I’m blessed. They really care about each other. Yes, they bicker and argue like most siblings do. But they also adore each other. That makes me glow with happiness. The other day after school Gabriella ran up towards Luca and I and they hugged and gave each other a little kiss. One of them moms was surprised and thought it was so nice that they do that. I never thought twice about it and thought that was how things should be. 
Like the other morning I was taking a photo of them on the way to school. Gabriella is so proud to be a Safety Patrol at school. Her first official “job”. While we were getting ready to take the photo, Luca looked like he was planning something. I just couldn’t get him to smile without looking sneaky.

Then he spontaneously gave her a little kiss. That just made my day. They did argue in the car the whole way to school about her hitting him in the head with her backpack. He swore she did it on purpose. The little kiss was long forgotten.

Back to the prunes/dried plums love.  I think the juices overflowing the crust make the tarts a little prettier. And we did learn about drips in our photography session at IFBC with Andrew Scrivani. He said, “Drips are good. Like drippy ice-cream cones.” He told us that while we were all squirming in our seats looking at his ice-cream cone photo full of gorgeous drips.


Now I have a little present for you. My blogiversary sort of came and went by this summer.  I feel like I need to acknowledge my little blog. It’s become one of the favorite things in my life. Meeting all of you has been wonderful. You all bring me joy with your kind comments. 
In honor of my blogiversary, I have a present for one of my lovely friends. I LOVE this book by Martha Stewart. It is inspiring and full of sweet and savory pies and tarts. To be eligible for the giveaway, you have to leave a comment (of course!)and if you like pies (does anyone not like them?) tell me what is your all time favorite pie. What is your favorite pie recipe. If you have a link to it, go ahead and leave it in the comment. I’d like to check it out!! A giveaway winner will be randomly selected 9/30/11.


1 cup fresh chopped pitted plums
1/4 cup dried chopped plums
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons cold water
3/4 cup tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
pinch of sea salt
3 tablespoons non-hydrogenated coconut oil, room temperature
1/3 cup ice water

To brush on before baking:
2 tablespoons milk (I used rice milk)
turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Filling: In a medium sized bowl, combine the plums with the sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest, and vanilla. Stir together to combine the ingredients and let sit for about 15 minutes. After they 15 minutes, pour the plum mixture into a  medium sized sauce pan and simmer on medium-low heat for about five minutes.  While mixture simmers, stir together arrowroot    If using cornstarch, return the mixture to a simmer and then remove it from the heat.  Allow to cool to room temperature.  While mixture cools, make dough. 
Pastry: In a food processor, pulse the flour and salt. Add the semi-solid coconut oil and pulse until it is the size of small peas. Sprinkle the ice water over the mixture and pulse until the pastry starts to come together. Transfer the pastry to a work surface and knead gently a few times until thoroughly blended. Divide the tart in four flatten into disks. Wrap the pastry in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out 1 of the pastry disks 1/8 inch thick. (I roll mine out between two pieces of plastic wrap. I sprinkle a little flour on the disk before rolling it out). Using a 5-inch plate as a guide, cut out 4 rounds and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate the rounds until firm, about 10 minutes.
Place one-fourth of the cooled filling in the center of each circle of dough. Bring the pastry edges up and around the fruit, pinching firmly to form a pleated rim on each tart. Refrigerate the tarts until firm, 10 minutes. Brush the tarts with the melted margarine or your choice of milk (I used rice milk) and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for about 15-18 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and the plums are bubbling.  I prefer to eat these warm right after they come out of the oven. 
Now go leave a comment!! Good luck!

{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth Ann (Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box September 26, 2011 at 4:35 pm
Carolyn September 26, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Oooo, oooo, me, me, pick me! ;) Your free-from tart is just gorgeous, as is everything you do.


Giulia September 26, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Ah, this is lovely. I was just telling a friend about all the gorgeous plums/plum desserts from Italy & France that I love. I went to school in Strasbourg & Alsace is flooded w/gorgeous plums.

My favorite pie, though, has to be lemon meringue. My grandmother used to make it for me whenever we visited. There were all sorts of puddings & cakes as she was Anglo-Welsh. But always an extra lemon pie. Made me feel very special.



cheryloo September 26, 2011 at 4:37 pm

OH my goodness i love Key Lime Pie!


chocolatebottle September 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Wow, looks beautiful! My favorite happens to be Mincemeat mini pies! Oh, the holidays…


Mis-Cakes September 26, 2011 at 5:26 pm

i love lemon meringue pie! i am yet to make a real true pie crust. it sorta freaks me out. lol. it’s on my list to make very soon.


Sourkraut September 26, 2011 at 5:40 pm

I love lemon meringue pie but have only made it once with mixed results. I’d love to win this!


The Vanilla Bean Baker September 26, 2011 at 6:04 pm

I’m not entering the contest but had to comment on how lovely your son and daughter are. Such cute photographs and your *drippy* tarts look amazing.

P.S. I *snack* on dried plums (prunes) all the time. 5 a day are supposed to be very good for you and I love fresh, juicy plums.


Katie September 26, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Banana cream pie is one of my favorites, and no one ever seems to make it!


Jessica / Green Skies and Sugar Trips September 26, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Love this! And your children are lovely!!

My all time favorite pie is fresh strawberry pie! I don’t have a recipe for it online per se. I just make a pie crust, cool it down, fill it with strawberries, and then glaze! You can buy the strawberry glaze to make or just make a simple glaze using apricot jam! Then allow to cool and enjoy! There’s nothing like the flavor of fresh berries!


Barbara | Creative Culinary September 26, 2011 at 8:34 pm

This looks gorgeous Lora, I love the looks of a rustic crust like this.

I too love a strawberry pie I’ve been making for more years than I want to admit in public! I’ve taken the original recipe and added a layered of sweetened mascarpone cheese between the crust and the strawberries. Originally to help keep the crust from becoming soggy but now because it tastes so great:

That being said…there is a tie. I also love, love, love this French Silk pie with a graham cracker crust. Both are simply to die for!


Yuri - Chef Pandita September 26, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Your kids are adorable! Love these rustic tarts, my favorite pie would be pecan pie… Or maybe apple pie… Mmmm I love pie :)


scrambledhenfruit September 26, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Your tarts look delectable! My favorite pie is probably lemon meringue- so yummy!


Shawn September 26, 2011 at 10:56 pm

I wish that I could just pluck one from the screen and top it with some ice cream!

Favorite pie? Toss up between a thick sweet potato custard and lemon icebox.

Your babies are adorable :)


Ken│hungry rabbit September 26, 2011 at 11:24 pm

I didn’t think it would be the case but every time I have a slice of Coconut Cream pie, I want another and another.


Kathy - Panini Happy September 26, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Mmm…love a good rustic pie! My favorite that I’ve had in recent memory was probably a chocolate cream pie.


claudia @Whats Cookin September 26, 2011 at 11:36 pm

These look amazing!


Cara @ The Boys Made Me Do It September 26, 2011 at 11:51 pm

I have this cookbook on my Christmas wish list!


Melissa @IWasBornToCook September 27, 2011 at 1:08 am

I have a bunch, but this one is a big hit during the holidays –


Happy When Not Hungry September 27, 2011 at 1:20 am

Coconut cream pie is my favorite pie!!!


Reeni September 27, 2011 at 1:28 am

Happy Belated Blogiversary Lora! Your tarts are cute and the drips make them all the more irresistible! Can you believe I never had a dried plum? But I do love fresh ones. My favorite pie is pecan.


Noelle September 27, 2011 at 2:02 am

Happy Blogiversary! Yummy tart book. I love cherry pie! All around although Strawberry rhubarb comes in very close!


Diane M. September 27, 2011 at 2:11 am

My favorite pie to make is apple pie and I love changing the recipe depending on my mood, adding other fruit, nuts, spices, etc. My favorite pie to eat is pumpkin pie though, and I am always looking for more great pumpkin pie recipes!


Rebecca September 27, 2011 at 2:17 am

My hubby makes a wonderful strawberry rhubarb pie. It is crazy delicious! And actually very simple except for the pastry he makes for the crust.


Jan September 27, 2011 at 2:22 am

I’ve never baked with dried plums, but I’m loving the fresh and dried combo in these tarts! I’ll definitely give this a try :)
I love raspberry pie, specifically one I had at a restaurant that was so perfectly set. Not sure how they did it but it was incredible. I’ll never forget that raspberry pie…


Kelly @ Eat Yourself Skinny September 27, 2011 at 2:23 am

Thank you so much for your sweet comments on my blog AND so I could find yours! These mini tarts are gorgeous and look incredibly delicious, so glad to be a new follower! xoxo


knitstamatic September 27, 2011 at 2:25 am

You have the sweetest kids! I too enjoy prunes, yup that’s what i call ‘em, prunes. In fact I’ll be cooking with them in a few days. My favorite pie is a tough one for me so I’ll go with my husband’s: blueberry. And yes, it’s pretty high on my list too!


Baker Street September 27, 2011 at 2:31 am

I’m not entering the contest. But your kids are just adorable! And your pie is super delicious!


Baking Serendipity September 27, 2011 at 2:33 am

Your tart is gorgeous! I love chocolate pie. My great-grandma has the best recipe. I need to post it still though…added to the to-do list :) Happy blogoversary and adorable kids!


Mo September 27, 2011 at 3:55 am

Baked a plum tart this past weekend! Used dough recipe from Tartine cookbook. Good stuff. Favorite pie has to be lemon meringue though. Love all the lemony goodness.


purabi naha September 27, 2011 at 7:41 am

Absolutely yummy post and the tart is really looking gorgeous! Now I need nothing but a tart!!
Your kids are so adorable!


Becky September 27, 2011 at 10:19 am

I love my Husband’s Door County Cherry Rum pie. It’s the best. I hope that I win.


Sanjeeta kk September 27, 2011 at 10:36 am

Fabulous..the oozing syrup is making the mini tarts more gorgeous!


Lizzy September 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Another giveaway?? Aren’t you sweet!!! Your tarts look fabulous…you do pies SO well! Let’s see, my favorite has to be a peach raspberry pie…I took a classic peach pie recipe of Martha’s and added a half pint of berries :) Have a great week, Lora!


Mary Beth|cupcakes and crinoline September 27, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Your tart looks absolutely beautiful! (and delicious) : )


Lindsay @Eat, Knit, Grow September 27, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Yum! Looks fantastic! Happy Blogaversary!


Laurie Jesch-Kulseth September 27, 2011 at 1:31 pm

I LOVE pies and tarts! So many favorites, but I think tart cherry or blueberry would be my winner :). Happy Belated Blogoversary!


kimberleyblue September 27, 2011 at 1:39 pm

That book sounds amazing, and your tarts look stunning!


Celina September 27, 2011 at 2:22 pm

My favorite has to be cherry pie! I love it! You tarts look amazing!


MaryBeth September 27, 2011 at 2:31 pm

My current favorite pie is Derby pie. I change favorites every so often. Your tartlets look lovely, especially with all their drippy goodness! Thanks for a chance to win.


Junia September 27, 2011 at 3:03 pm

wow, i love how the plum juices are dripping off of the pastry. :D


Desi September 27, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I love pecan pie, key lime pie, and my Mama’s lemon pie :) Would love to win this cookbook, thanks!

Happy belated Blogiversary!!!


Jamie September 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Oooh I want this book! I love pies and maybe, just maybe, my favorite is this old-fashioned chocolate cream pie It brings back my childhood and it is downright fabulous! I grew up eating plums and prunes, drinking the occasional glass of prune juice, too. And my dad made dried fruit compote from prunes and dried apricots that I couldn’t get enough of! And your kids are so adorable! Warms a mother’s heart! xo


Jeannette September 27, 2011 at 3:54 pm

I love pie!! I love the traditional apple pie but i love pumpkin, blueberry and a new favorite is tuscaloosa tollhouse pie (in the baked cookbook) mmm. pie.

jpinnick86 (at)


Magic of Spice September 27, 2011 at 4:10 pm

The tarts look fantastic! Well Happy Belated Anniversary for your blog and fun giveaway…if only I could bake ;)
You kids are just precious!


Angela/Soap Mom September 27, 2011 at 5:34 pm

These look scrumptious! I just stumbled upon your blog and have seen several recipes I am dying to try…..I will be visiting often!!!!


Rosie September 27, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Congrats on your blogaversary! And thanks for doing this giveaway. Your kids are so cute!
I love any fruit pie, but I especially love apple!!
rosietulips [at] hotmail [dot] com


Amy September 27, 2011 at 6:29 pm

I love that this is made with a mixture of fresh and dried plums. Bet that gives it a wonderful combination of textures. I love dried plums, aka prunes!

As for my favorite pie…it would have to be Dutch Apple Pie. I love the crumbly topping.

Amy @ A Little Nosh


Pachecopatty September 28, 2011 at 1:36 am

Lovely tarts! I love the free form tarts with their drips;-) Martha Stewart is one of my go to gals for baking recipes and of course all her cookbooks are beautiful to look at as well;-)
Thanks for taking a little baking time out to share the importance of being loving, even and especially amongst siblings;-)


manhattan pressurized walls September 28, 2011 at 4:24 am

great post .. it looks so delicious .. yummmy !!


A Thought For Food September 28, 2011 at 11:55 am

That picture of the two of them is just so so so sweet. I love it… and, of course, this beautiful dessert.

And congrats on your blog anniversary!!!


TinaW September 28, 2011 at 7:01 pm

My favorite is rhubarb pie.


JulieD September 29, 2011 at 4:14 am

This looks so good. Love these mini tarts!

I really like my blueberry hand pies and that’s the extent of my pie making experience. This book would be perfect for me! :)

Congrats on the blogiversary!!


Jordan September 30, 2011 at 4:24 am

I would have to say my favorite is just good ol’ pumpkin pie :) fall is my favorite season and there is no better way to celebrate! Often, my name comes up as unknown for reasons..unknown. So just in case…I’m Jordan! :)


Carmen September 30, 2011 at 6:55 pm

I love pies, but only if we make them at home. Most people and restaurants use pre-made, thick crust. My husband makes the best pies. He uses the old Betty Crocker (circa 1950s) pie crust recipe and rolls it thin. I don’t really have a favorite – apple, blueberry, cherry, pumpkin … they’re all awesome!


Rosita Vargas October 6, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Tarta fabulosa increíblemente bella,mis papilas sufren quiero probar,I would have to say my favorite,hugs,hugs.


ameanderingmango November 22, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Hmm, I’ve had prunes but never dried plums – would love to try them. These little pies look sweet and delicious. Thanks for sharing!


Give me money January 29, 2012 at 12:03 pm

nice idea for dinner


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