Sorry, people who put him in the “crazy” camp: Steve was not doing exactly the same thing and expecting different results. After all, these smaller, redder plums were purchased from a different vendor. And this time Steve did not leave them sitting in a bowl on the counter. He left them sitting on the counter in a paper bag, which somehow rendered them invisible.
Fortunately, these plums ripened much less violently than their predecessors, with only a few having matured past pleasurable eating when Steve finally remembered the brown bag. He appealed to Michelle’s insatiable interest in dessert, singing the praises of this particular strain of plum (having sampled some on-the-brink beauties while sorting out the overripe ones). Michelle consulted her cookbooks, coming up with this “Plum crumble tart” from Nigel Slater’s Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard (that’s Tender: Vol. II for those of you in the U.K.), filling out the fruit with some blueberries we still had stashed in the freezer. Slater mentions in the recipe that he can’t decide if this is a “tart or a cake,” but Steve sees it more as a soft, delicate bar, able to be eaten out of hand once it’s set and cooled. It was a little lacking in sweet for Michelle’s taste, but she did enjoy it enough to consider the recipe another alternative for what will certainly be more fruit-salvaging situations.
PLUM & BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE TART
(adapted from Nigel Slater’s Ripe)
- 2 c. + 1 TB all purpose flour
- 1/2 c. light brown sugar
- 1 c. ground almonds
- Pinch salt
- 1 c. cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 lb. plums, pitted and cut into halves or quarters
- 5 oz. blueberries
- 2-1/2 TB sugar
- 1/3 c. sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9″ square baking pan with a piece of parchment paper, with enough extra paper on 2 sides to be able to lift the tart out.
Mix flour, brown sugar, ground almonds and salt in a mixing bowl. Add butter and rub into the flour mixture with your fingers as you would for pie dough or biscuits. (Slater says to make it resemble “coarse fresh breadcrumbs.”)
Put 2/3 of the flour mixture atop the parchment in the baking pan. Push it down gently to form a base, making sure to push into the four corners. Firm it, without compacting.
Cover the base with the fruit. Sprinkle with sugar.
Mix the sliced almonds into the remaining flour mixture. Scatter over the fruit.
Bake for approximately 50 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. Cool pan on a wire rack for a bit until the tart firms up. Lift out of the baking pan using the parchment ends, and let cool further.
I do so love Nigel Slater’s books, even though I still don’t have Ripe. I recently finished his memoir Toast and it endears him to me even more. The picture with the bee is really lovely.
He’s a lovely writer, isn’t he? I read Toast several years ago and was just thinking I needed to find my copy and read it again. I must admit that I’ve had difficulty with making some of his baked goods. I blame the differences between European and American flours though, not him!
Actually, you might be right. I’ve also had little luck with baking recipes from British authors, especially Nigella Lawson. It happens often enough for me to believe that maybe the recipes aren’t completely at fault.
I love Nigel Slater’s books too! I sometimes wish I were Nigel Slater . . . but I kind of like being a little Asian person more . . .
The crumble/bar looks great! Are you guys back from the European vacay?
Thanks Daisy! Haven’t left yet. 9 days and counting… Dissertation done?
Defense on the 29th but am still writing!!! Panic-mode!!!! I can’t wait for this to be over. When your Chinese food delivery guy starts saying, “Okay, see you tomorrow!” you know it’s bad!
I’m not at all familiar with Slater’s cookbooks but seeing that cake/tart/bar makes me wish I were. It’s the ground almonds in the crust. I bet they go quite well with that the mix of plums and blueberries. I’ve pinned the recipe for future reference, This I must try!
Slater’s most recent cookbooks, Tender (veg) and Ripe (fruit) are lovely. You can read also read him online in the Guardian/Observer. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/series/nigelslaterrecipes
Reblogged this on thecasualfoodblogger.
I want to read Slater! 😀
Now that I have heard of his cookbook!
And gorgeous little bars!
Choc Chip Uru
You can read him online. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/series/nigelslaterrecipes
I’ve just printed out the recipe. “Taste”Vol II is on my shopping list. I use Vol.I, the vegetable book, endlessly and can’t wait to get the fruitier version:)
Beautiful books, aren’t they?
Plumbs can be very troublesome – one has to wonder if Nigel had the trouble with his in Piccadilly 😉
Mmm…I’m so now interested in reading of Slater with all these comments! And I’m very interested in the recipe. I love those that feel like old time summer desserts, perfect for a picnic!
Thanks! Do give Slater a read. Good writer.
Now you could appeal to both Michelle’s “insatiable interest in dessert” and Steve’s preoccupation with the porky and replace some (or all) of the butter with a little good lard. NOW we’re talking phat.
Now, there’s an idea. 🙂
Love the bee pic. Looks like a recipe my husband would like, too!
Your fruit storage system sounds like mine! Except that mine also includes the fridge at this time of year to ward off fruit flies. This sounds like a delicious way to salvage the opaque bags that get lost in back!
And now we’re going into apple season—the time of year when I cannot find room to put a single thing into the refrigerator…
I love plum tarts and this recipe with the added blueberries sounds wonderful.
Thanks, Karen. I was glad to find a few blueberries in the freezer, as I was a bit short on plums.
I’ve had my eye on it, but I don’t own Ripe (yet). I don’t like my desserts too sweet, and with all of those almonds and that juicy fruit, I might need to make this before the summer slips away.
The original recipe called for no sugar at all on the fruit, and pine nuts instead of sliced almonds on the top. Sounds right up your alley!
How have i missed out on visiting before. Roger sent me and here I find many of my friends lurking about in your comments section. Were they keeping you a secret? i can see why! your work is lovely. very lovely. But the secret is out. Have a wonderful evening.. I am cecilia and my plum tree is still too small for a pie but soon.. soon.. c
How nice of you. Do come again! (And, oh, I’m jealous of your plum tree—even if small.)
I love plums.. sweet but a tiny tart burst of flavor! Can’t wait to hit the market today and find some of these so I can try this recipe:D Lucky you.. I hear you’re off to France to meet up with one of my fav bloggers!! Wow!!
Fun, huh? Thanks, Smidge!
Plums! T’is the season. Well, even if it wasn’t sweet enough, at least it’s pretty 🙂 Hope you enjoyed. And what’s this about France – who are you meeting up with?
We’re leaving for Normandy in a few days (yay!) and are doing a little side trip down to Roger Stowell’s place. Check it out. http://stowell.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/writing-with-a-plum-in-my-mouth/
Fantastic! Have a wonderful time!
This looks like my kind of dessert – lots of syrupy fruit and crunchy crumb. Yum!
I think I’d have liked it better with a little crunch on the bottom, like maybe a shortbread crust. But it was good.
This is what I call comfort food. It’s looks amazingly good. I also love the title of your post, very clever!
That’s my clever husband!
Like Celi, I was also forwarded to your blog by Roger. The blogging community is growing smaller!
I loved the picture of the Bumble Bee, and thought he would look smashing on my post called “The Plight of the Bumble Bee.” It’s the next to the last post.
I wish “Roger” would do some forwarding to MY blog. (It’s always ME ME ME.) Are you in beautiful windswept Normandy yet? Feasting on tiny mussels and unpasteurized cheeses?
OH and I like this post, and I agree that with a shortbread crust this might be the plummy crumby sweet of the summer.
Ah, oui, but still jet-lagged and with only the barest of Internet connections. Looking forward to reading about your Dordogne adventures!
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