Tuscan Plum Tart
Wow. I came across this recipe by chance – I had some plums left over and wanted to make something using ingredients I had in the house. This is one of the easiest cakes I’ve ever made, and tastes absolutely scrumptious when it’s nice and warm out of the oven. This has the definite potential to be my new fallback, quick emergency cake. I came across the recipe in one of my bibles – Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course.
Preheat the oven to 170degC.
Put 275g sugar and 150ml water into a 25cm/10in cast-iron frying pan (or any pan that size that you can use on the hob and in the oven i.e. no plastic!). Stir over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves, then cook without stirring until the sugar caramelises to a rich golden brown (it’s very important that once the sugar dissolves you leave the syrup alone – don’t be tempted to stir it! It will take time but the syrup will continue to bubble away and then start to turn golden-brown).
Meanwhile halve and stone 900g of plums. Arrange them cut side down in a single layer over the caramel (I only had four plums left so I quartered them and arranged them as per the photo).
Put 150g soft butter, 175g caster sugar and 200g self-raising flour into the bowl of a food processor. Whizz for a few seconds, add 3 eggs then mix again. Stop as soon as the mixture comes together. Spoon over the plums, spreading gently in as even a layer as possible.
Bake in the preheated oven for about one hour (mine only took 45-50 minutes). The centre should be firm to the touch and the edges slightly shrunk from the sides of the pan. Allow to rest in the pan for 4-5 minutes before turning out (put a plate on top of the pan and flip it over – be careful of any juices that might escape!).
Serve with creme fraiche or gently whipped cream.