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!
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