As you may know, I really like grocery shopping. Any shopping really. The other day, I saw some beautiful plums on display and I knew that I had to make something with them.
Last summer, I made a Summer Sangria Galette with an olive oil crust. This tart reminds me of that galette. First, it's filled with delicious fruit. Next, it's a free-formed pie -- none of the fancy shaping of the edges and rolling out circles. These pies are meant to look rustic.
If you're making your own crust, the key is to make sure the shortening is borderline frozen and the vodka is cold. This will yield the perfect crust! It will be easy to roll out and will be no-fuss.
Amaretto Plum Tart
1 pie crust (see four-ingredient recipe here)
5 ripe plums, cut into chunks
1 T. starch (corn, arrowroot, tapioca, etc.)
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 c. amaretto (try making your own!), or water
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
1-2 tsp. almond extract, to taste
1 tsp. orange juice (or lemon)
slivered almonds, for sprinkling
For the pie crust, make the crust as directed by my recipe (or use a store-bought one, if that tickles your fancy). I added a pinch of nutmeg to my crust when I made it. Once it's ready, shape it into a thick square -- it's easier to roll out a rectangle when it's already in a square shape! Between two pieces of floured parchment, roll out your dough (to about 1/4 inch). Leave the bottom piece of parchment under the crust; you'll need it for later!
It doesn't have to be the perfect rectangle; we'll fix that later. In the mean time, preheat the oven to 400°F.
For the filling: combine the plums, cinnamon, nutmeg, syrup, extract, and orange juice in a medium-sized pot -- over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer. You want the mixture to reduce about 15 minutes, until most of the liquid is evaporated. Meanwhile, combine the starch and the amaretto. Make sure there are no chunks. If there are, fish them out and discard them.
When your mixture is starting to thicken up -- about 10 minutes in -- add your amaretto/starch mixture. Stir it in and the ingredients should look like a nice plum jam. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool. It will make your pie stay together better if it's a little cooler.
Once you're ready, fill the pie crust with the plum filling, starting in the middle. Keep away from the edges of the crust.
Here's the fun part: use your parchment to shape the tart. I pulled mine up on each side and flopped it over. Warning: if your filling is too hot, it may melt the sides of your crust. I used some cannoli forms to hold the edges in place -- and they worked surprisingly well.
Bake the tart for about 15 minutes. If you want, five minutes before the baking is done, sprinkle on some almonds.
Depending on how you slice it, this tart should yield six servings. Enjoy!