Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Spiced Plum Tart

Blood Plum

I don't know why it is but for some reason Paalo just doesn't appreciate Plums. His excuse is that there are better fruit to eat so why waste time on plums. So while they appear as bit players in fruit salads and the like I thought it was time for them to shine on their own.

inside a blood plum


The plums I have here are Blood plums, one of my favourite varieties. I just love the colour, the texture and their taste. As these are more of a firm side, I decided poaching in a lightly spiced syrup would be in order to bring out their plummy best.

While the spiced poached plums will be perfect on their own I'll be using them in a tart and taking advantage on some great home made filo pastry that I source from a deli at Prahran market.

homemade filo pastry

It's a lot thicker than the commercially made varieties and is sold in packets of large round sheets - an ideal shape for making traditional strudels. In this case the filo forms the pastry base of my tart that is topped with a simple semolina cream and then studded with the spiced plums.

Spiced Plum Tart

Spiced Plum Tart
[Makes a 13cmx35cm / 5x14 inch Tart ]

Filo Pastry
Spiced Blood Plums
5 Blood Plums, halved
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup water
vanilla bean, split
cinnamon stick
Semolina Cream
1 1/2 cups milk
60 grams caster sugar
50 grams semolina
3 egg yolks


Make the Spiced Plums:
Place the sugar, water, cinnamon and vanilla into a large pan and over a medium heat, stir until the sugar has dissolved. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes before adding the halved plums. Continue on a gentle simmer until the plums have just softened about 5-10 minutes - this will depend on the ripeness of the fruit. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the syrup.

Make the Semolina Cream:
Place the milk, sugar and semolina into a pan and whisk over a gentle heat until the mixture is smooth. Keep stirring with a spoon until the mixtures thickens for another 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat and whisk vigorously to knock out a bit of heat and then add the egg yolks one at a time, whisking well until they combined.

Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap - make sure the wrap rests against the semolina cream as this prevents it from forming a skin. Let it cool to room temperature.

Assemble the Tart:

Butter the tart tin and then line it with a sheet of filo - it doesn't have to be a perfect fit, in fact you want it to over hang the edges. Brush the sheet well with melted butter and give it a little sprinkle of caster sugar before adding another sheet. Repeat the process until you form a solid base - the number of sheets needed does depend on the thickness of the filo.

Pour in the semolina cream onto filo, smoothing the surface.

Now arrange the plum halves, cut side down - push them down just slightly into the semolina cream.

Sprinkle lightly with a little more caster sugar and then bake in a preheated 180°C/350°F oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the cream is set.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

Spiced Plum Tart


While it may look decadent it is surprisingly light, helped in part by that crisp and delicate filo. The semolina cream wraps beautifully around each plum providing a luxurious base in which they can nestle and for the spiced flavours to carry through.

Spiced Plum Tart

This even had Paalo wanting seconds!

Tagged

16 comments:

  1. I love the semolina cream, I've never tried it!! but since I'm not a filo pastry fan maybe I'll try it with a normal pastry crust.
    Thanks for the idea!

    Sil BsAs

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  2. Dear cook! I discovered you only today and I have to say your photos look absolutely stunning:) How do you do it? are you a pro? and a wonderful cook? My compliments chef! I love philo, I love semolina and, a bit like your Paalo, don't bother with plums, but I love them baked, so this one is definately one for me to try. I'll be coming round here more often now :)

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  3. This looks delicious - just from scanning the pictures before I read the recipe, I wasn't sure if there was a cream filling or if the filo had risen up and engulfed the plums!

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  4. I've been seeing spiced plums about a bit lately - blood plums are my favourite plums because that is what we ate off the tree when I was a child and I always find the ones I buy are not tart enough.

    Your photos make these plums look good enough to eat on their own and even more tempting in the pie!

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  5. I just love every element of this tart. It sounds fantastic!

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  6. Thanks Sil - a normal sweet short crust pastry will work perfectly. Hope you enjoy it!

    Thank you Heart that is so lovely of you!

    Thanks Mike!

    Thanks Rachel - that is definitely the semolina cream that wraps around the plums.

    Thanks Johanna - oh I love blood plums especially when they are really ripe and when you bite into them they just ooze out that deep red juice.

    Thank you Truffle!

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  7. Beautiful, beautiful... Words almost fail me... And I'm so glad Paalo liked it!

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  8. Wow, that tart looks amazing. If I send you a plate could you slice me a piece! Beautiful!

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  9. Love the photos! The second one is especially enticing . . .

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  10. Thanks Fork - Paalo is certainly enjoying it!

    Thanks Chuck - it might get swished in transit!

    Thanks Lia!

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  11. I can see where Paalo is coming from. You usually either get a rock hard Plum, or a squishy mess, and you're often going at one with the thought of the stone killing your mouth.

    Not like this though, my word. They have an amazing shimmer to them.

    Good going.

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  12. I'm so glad I found your blog! love your pics! The plum looks delectable and your tart looks delicious!

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  13. Thanks GK - Paalo also thanks you!

    Thank you Cakebrain - that is very lovely of you!

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  14. Here I am with my mouth watering from the gorgeous plums and I cant find a single one here. It was only later I realized that you were posting from the other half of the world. Sigh.

    I will have to file this one away for my summer season. :)

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  15. Thanks Sarah - I think it would work just as well with canned plums if you can find them.

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