Prune plums are the swan song of summer.  Their fleeting season runs from September through October.  This stone fruit is smaller, firmer, and more egg-shaped than other types of plums.  Prune plums are wonderful for cooking and baking and I suggest buying a pound or two anytime you spot them in the grocery stores or farmers markets.  Because they’re firmer than other plums, prune plums keep their shape in tarts, pies and cakes. They are also less juicy than other plums, so they produce less liquid and more intense flavor. These properties have made them very popular for bakers.

For the tart shell I use Bob’s Red Mill Organic Ivory Wheat FlourOrganic Ivory Wheat is stone ground from organic whole grain hard white wheat berries. This flour has a creamy color and yields baked goods with a lighter flavor and texture than regular whole wheat flour.  It is packed with whole grain nutrition, but all your eaters will notice is its amazing taste and texture.  Like regular whole wheat flour, Ivory Wheat Flour will make baked goods denser. To achieve a lighter texture, try a 50-50 combination of Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Flour and Ivory Wheat flours.

For this recipe you will need one 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.



Ivory Wheat Crust:

3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Organic Ivory Wheat Flour

3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Flour

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Zest of 1/2 of a lemon (save lemon for juice needed in filling)

2 large egg yolks

One small glass filled with ice water

For the filling:

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 1/2 pounds prune plums, halved and pitted

The juice of one lemon

Prepare the shell:

Combine flour, butter, sugar, salt, and zest in a food processor and pulse until most of mixture resembles coarse meal with remainder in small (roughly pea-size) lumps. Add yolks and process just until incorporated and mixture begins to clump.  If mixture is not clumping add ice water, one teaspoon at a time, while processing until mixture starts to come together.

Turn mixture out onto a work surface and gently knead to evenly distribute butter.  Form into a ball and flatten into a disk.

Press dough with floured fingertips into a tart pan, in an even 1/4-inch layer on bottom and up sides (about 1/8 inch above rim). Freeze 30 minutes, or until firm.

While the shell chills:

Stir together sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Add plums and lemon juice and toss to coat. Let stand, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes, or until juicy.

Assemble and bake:

Preheat oven to 425°F.  Arrange oven rack in middle position.

Arrange plum halves, skin sides down, in 9″ tart shell, overlapping in a rosette pattern. Halve any remaining plums lengthwise and randomly tuck in between plum halves in tarts. Pour all juices from bowl over plums.

Bake tarts in oven 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375°F. Continue baking until plums are tender and juices are bubbling and slightly thickened, 40 to 50 minutes more.  If tart is becoming too dark, tent with foil and continue baking. Cool tarts completely in pans on a rack.  Juices will continue to thicken as tart cools.

Recipe adapted from “The Gourmet Cookbook”.  Thank you Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring this post!