Now I know some of you may feel some trepidation about working with yeast. It can seem like it has its own life. And it does. But it can also be easily mastered. You'll see that this recipe sets out to prove just that. And honestly, everybody has their weak spot. Some people resist working with chocolate or doughs or making a cake. I used to fear the caramel until I had to make it every day for months when I worked for a chef who used versions of it as a backnote in many desserts. It was astonishing what he could do with it. So just a couple burns and botched batches later, I slowly learned to understand how it works and it has become one of my favorite flavorings that can be used in multiple ways. Just keep your eyes and ears and nose open and you can figure out just about anything in the pastry world.
So this tart dough comes together with the snap of a finger. No scary temperature testing or wish-making. Just throw everything together and about 3 minutes later you’re done. Give it two hours to rise, layer some fruit and give it 30 minutes. Bake it and voila! A delicious little tart that is brimming with exactly the right amount of yeast, butter, vanilla, sugar, salt and of course blessed fruit. Snap!
- This dough is very wet and sticky. If you have a pastry scraper, use it to scrape the dough into the prepared pan. Or a rubber spatula will work just fine.
- When it comes to finishing the tart, 1/4 C of sugar seems like an ungodly amount. But it does seem to be needed to sweeten the fruit just right.
- The tart is great with or without the sauce. If you make it, use a good fruity wine such as Zinfandel.
- The tart will keep for a couple of days.
- There are a number of ways to improvise on this. Use your imagination.
Yeasted Plum Tart
adapted from Ripe for Dessert by David Lebovitz
3 T whole milk
2 t (1 pkg) dry yeast (not instant)
1/4 C sugar
2 eggs @ room temperature
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 1/2 C flour
3/4 t salt
3 oz butter @ room temperature and cut into 1/2” pieces
5 medium plums (approx 1 lb), pitted and cut into 1/2” slices
1/4 C sugar
Red Wine Plum Sauce
1/2 C red wine
1 plum, cut into 1/4” pieces
1/4 C sugar
optional: 1 C raspberries or blackberries
Generously butter a 9 1/2” springform pan.
Stir together the milk and the yeast in a mixer bowl and then add in the 1/4 C sugar, eggs and vanilla. Using the paddle attachment to finish the mixing, add in the flour and salt and mix for one minute. Add butter and continue beating for another minute. Gather the dough into the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm space to rise for 2 hours.
Dampen your hands a bit and gently press down on the dough, spreading to cover the bottom of the pan evenly. Arrange the plum slices in a decorative way over the dough, leaving a 1/2” border all around the edges. Press the plums down firmly. Sprinkle a generous 1/4 C sugar over the entire surface and let the tart stand for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake the tart for 40 minutes or until the tart is lightly browned and the center feels slightly firm to the touch.
Bring the wine, plums and 1/4 C sugar to a simmer. Cook on low heat until plums are tender. Cool the mixture and puree.
Serve a slice of the warm tart with a generous helping of sauce.