Daily Archives: August 25, 2007

Liar Liar

Okay, I know I said once a year in yesterday’s post, but what am I supposed to do, let the remaining sheet of puff pastry wilt in my freezer for 12 months?

No, and I suspect you were wondering the same thing: How could she say we should eat it once a year and then only use half the package?

Well, ignore me. You can eat it as much as you want. Especially if, like me, you’re feeling so lazy these days, inspired to eat but not excited about spending time in the kitchen. These tarts are just the thing.

Make sure you leave a good 3/4″ border around the edge of the pastry when you’re poking holes in it; otherwise, the plums’ juices will flood over the pastry and onto the pan, where they don’t do nearly as much good.

Plum Tart 1

Cardamom-Plum Tartlets (PDF)
Recipe 237 of 365

There are times when making puff pastry by hand seems the most logical and enjoyable use of my time, and times – like when it’s already sitting in the fridge, pre-made by Pillsbury – when making my own seems downright silly. This is a good example of the latter. Make the tartlets with any small free-stone fruits, such as regular or Italian plums, or even apricots.

TIME: 25 minutes active time
MAKES: 6 tartlets

1 pound small plums, halved and pitted (12 to 16 small plums)
3 tablespoons sugar, plus some for sprinkling on pastry
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, from a roughly 1-pound package, thawed according to package
1 large egg yolk, mixed with 2 teaspoons water

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the plum halves in a mixing bowl, and in another small bowl, mix the 3 tablespoons sugar with the flour and the cardamom. Set both aside.

Cut the puff pastry into six rectangles with a pizza cutter, slicing twice along the folding lines, then once perpendicular to those lines, so you have 6 pieces roughly the size of index cards.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and arrange the six pieces of pastry on the paper. Using a fork, poke rows of holes (all the way through) about 1/8” apart over all but 3/4” all the way around the edge of each piece. ( Think of it as a picture frame; you want tons of hole where the picture would be. This way, the pastry will puff where there are no holes, around the edge, and won’t puff as much in the center, where the plums will be, and the juice will stay in with the plums. If you want to be exact about it, using a fork with four tines, you’ll get an inside square filled with holes that’s about 12 holes on the short side and 20 holes on the long side.)

Dust a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of the dry mixture evenly over the holey part of each pastry. Add the remaining dry mixture to the plum halves, and toss to coat. Brush the outside edges of the pastry pieces with the egg wash, and sprinkle the edges lightly with sugar. Arrange the plums, four to six halves per piece, onto the pastry, skin sides up, and brush the skins with some of the egg wash, too. Discard any extra flour.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pastry is browned and the juices are bubbling. Let cool 10 minutes on the baking sheet, and serve warm.

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