Plum and Cinnamon Tart
- 225g plain flour
- 125g firm butter, diced
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- 8 teaspoons semi skimmed milk
- *Or use 225g ready made sweet short crust pastry
- 450g firm, purple skinned, dessert plums
- 75g butter, softened
- 75g caster sugar
- 50g semolina
- 125g plain flour
- 1½ level teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 medium eggs
- 2 tablespoons soured cream
- 5 tablespoons plum or damson conserve (or jam)
Oven: 190ºc/ 375ºf, Gas 5, pre-heated and 180°c/ 350°f/ Gas 4
Fan oven: 180ºC and 160ºC
To make the pastry:
Put the flour and diced butter into a mixing bowl. Rub the butter lightly into the flour until the consistency resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the icing sugar and mix to a firm dough with the milk. Knead on a floured surface for a few seconds until the texture is smooth. Cover in cling wrap and rest in the kitchen for 15 minutes.
On a floured surface roll the pastry into a circle large enough to line the base and the sides of the dish. Using the rolling pin as a support lower the pastry into the dish, pressing it gently over the base and into the flutes. Trim away excess pastry from the top edge and prick all over the base with a fork. Transfer to the refrigerator for 30 minutes – 1 hour, (this helps prevent shrinkage of the pastry when it goes into a hot oven)
Line the pastry with a piece of aluminium foil or greaseproof paper and fill with Le Creuset baking beans (or dried beans). Bake for 12 minutes at the higher temperature. Remove the foil or paper and beans and bake for a further 2 minutes. Cool the pastry case for 15 minutes.
To make the filling:
Prepare the plums. Cut into halves and remove the stones. Cut each half in half again. Drain, skin side up, on kitchen paper whilst making the filling.
Put all the ingredients for the filling, except the conserve, into a bowl. Beat until smooth (or use a food processor and process for 30 seconds).
Spread the conserve evenly over the base of the pastry case. Top with the filling, spreading it right to the edges, so that the conserve is sealed beneath it.
Press the plum quarters, skin side up, gently into the filling, making a close circular pattern.
Bake for 15 minutes at the higher oven temperature, then reduce to the lower setting and continue baking for a further 15 minutes. The filling should be just firm at the centre and the plums tender. The top can be dusted with a little caster or icing sugar before serving warm, with vanilla ice cream or whipped double cream.