Summer gets an early start with strawberries and raspberries, but I don't feel like the season truly hits its stride until the stone fruit start coming in. We had wild plum trees in our backyard when I was growing up, which made it easy to chart summer's progress, and also meant that come the end of June several of the trees in the yard were drooping with the weight of golf ball-sized plums. It didn't help that my parents planted additional varieties of plums, so that at the height of the season we had a veritable glut of fruit on our hands.
Would that we had had this recipe back in those days! (For the most part, we made a lot of jam.) It is a simple and (relatively) easy way to go through some plums. I say "relatively" easy because the plums we got then, and the plums I get now in my CSA share, are of the cling variety--they don't give up their pits easily. In fact it can be a slippery mess trying to get the plums cut neatly into slices, especially if the plums are very ripe. The rest of the preparation, though, is straightforward and takes no longer than the oven takes to come up to temperature. You don't even have to toast the almond slices if you're short on time, though I recommend that you do.
I think that this tart looks prettiest when you use a variety of plum that's dark on the outside and paler close to the pit, but you could use any kind of plum that you have on hand. Any kind of stone fruit, really, as I'm sure it would work with apricots, nectarines, or peaches--even cherries, if you're willing to pit and slice that much fruit for one tart. Recipe below!
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Monday, July 6, 2009