Italian Prune Plum dessert
I have a vague recollection of reading about a dessert made with Italian Prune Plums that was supposed to be simply amazing. Maybe it was a tart? Maybe I read about it in the NY Times (or maybe not)? Does this ring a bell for anyone?
About a month ago I saw Lidia Bastianich make a "Plum Lasgna" which I've made 3 times now - it uses thinly sliced fried country bread as the layers and is delicious.
Here's a link to her recipe for peach lasagna - just substitute 3 pounds of plums instead.
Delicious served with mascarpone as well
Here's a recipe I have made a gazillion times. It was originally called a "Plum Platz" and I have no idea where I got the recipe. I now call it a plum tart, although I only sometimes make it in a tart pan. Below it calls for an 9-inch square - use whatever you like. This is delicious.
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening (bad, bad Crisco)
1/4 cup cold water
4 cups purple plums, pitted and quartered
1 cup sugar, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Preheat the oven to 425o F.
In a food processor combine flour and salt. Cut in butter and shortening until mixture is crumbly. Add water and mix just until it forms a ball of dough that sticks together. Roll out on a floured surface so that it can fit into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch square pan. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine the plums with 1/2 cup of the sugar. Toss, then spoon into the crust. Beat the eggs with the remaining 1/2 cup of the sugar and the vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder and mix until goopy. Drizzle over the plum mixture in the pan. Place in the preheated oven and let bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350o F and continue baking for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned on top and set.
If you read about it in the Times, chances are it was Marian Burros' often-reprinted Plum Cake recipe. Halve a dozen or so prune plums and remove pits; spprinkle the halves with a little leon juice, sugar, and cinnamon. Make a batter by creaming together 1 cup sugar and 1 stick room-temperature butter; beat it 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and two eggs. Spread this (very thick) batter in the bottom of a nine-inch springform pan, lay the plum halves (skin side down) on top, and bake about an hour at 350°.
I've made the Marian Burros plum tart many times, and it's great. Last year, she published a plum crumble recipe that I think is even better (you have to be a ginger lover). Uses the same Italian plums. Can't go wrong with either recipe. Here's a link to the plum crumble: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage...
re: Marion Morgenthal
I second the plum crumble. It turns out wonderfully -- delicious on a cool fall day with a big heap of softly-whipped cream, and strong black tea. Her topping is worth making note of and using with other fruits -- mine came out like a crisp, thin crust rather than the traditionally oaty crumble topping.
I wanted to report back: I tried Burros's tart and crumble. The tart was lovely, very light. I was not so impressed by the crumble -- too buttery, too much topping, too sweet, not enough ginger flavor. I was not as exact as I normally am in measuring flour, but i don't think that could explain the results.