It’s Been a Plum Job…

Tomorrow I go to the doctor and I’m anticipating being released to drive, go back to my part-time job and in essence be unchained from my surgery mandated recuperative routine. That means a couple of things, namely less regular time baking and slightly greater intervals in between my blogs. I know, this breaks your heart, but I have to admit it’s been fun taking time to just “be” and pursue a passion of mine, perfecting my skills in the kitchen. But before the doctor’s verdict I thought I would go for one last hurrah in the form of an easy plum tart.

Once again I foraged through the boards on Pinterest in search of a recipe that was not only easy but also comprised of ingredients I already had in the house (driving by myself to the grocery store is still a no-no, and getting my husband to make daily trips is a little more difficult than it’s worth).

IMG_4384After scrolling through at least 75 recipes I came upon one from the website makinghomebase.com called Easy Plum Tarte. I basically had all of the ingredients and probably the most time consuming part of the entire process was cutting up the plums and scooping out the pits. So once again I journeyed into the land of baking to see if I would have success making a plum tart. Lo and behold I did! I always love it when something comes out the way it’s supposed to the first time, it’s so affirming. And being the self-proclaimed Pinterest recipe critic that I am, I am including my rating of the recipe and lessons learned while making it.

Rating: A – this recipe turned out exactly the way it was supposed to – the fruit was bubbly, the crust nice and browned and the taste was delicious – so quick and easy to make, perfect as a fresh baked dessert for a busy weeknight.

Lesson Learned 1: I’ve made tarts somewhat similar to this before but never put parchment paper on the baking sheet. Never again. The parchment paper makes it so easy to transfer the tart to a plate, why didn’t I think of this before?

Ready To Go Into The Oven

Ready To Go Into The Oven

Lesson Learned 2: The recipe called for almond extract. I didn’t have it (I really need to spend some time at the grocery store since I’m out of both almond and vanilla extract, that’s unheard of for me) so I substituted cinnamon extract. I also added a little bit of nutmeg as I did not want the flavor of the plums to be to “cinnamony” and it worked well.

Lesson Learned 3. Take the time to arrange the fruit decoratively. In this case I made slices since the plums were big and I arranged them in a circular fashion. It looked good before and after it was baked. Remember you eat with your eyes first.

Lesson Learned 4: After brushing the pie crust dough with an egg wash I sprinkled it with some raw sugar. That gives the crust a little more of a professional look and adds some nice sweetness to the pie crust. The recipe did not call for that, but it’s a trick I learned a while back and it really adds to the flavor and appearance of the tart.

Lesson Learned 5: I always take 5 minutes off the recommended cooking time just to do a check-in. The recipe says to bake the tart for 40 minutes. I have a professional grade baking sheet and it tends to cook things a little faster so I checked the tart at 35 minutes and it was ready to come out of the oven. It helps to know your oven and to keep an eye on things. You can always keep it in longer but can’t go back once you’ve burned it.

Easy Plum Tarte

Easy Plum Tarte

This one is definitely a keeper. I would make it right before dinner, let it cool slightly while you’re eating and then serve it warm with a scoop of ice cream on top. Yum! Enjoy!

Easy Plum Tarte

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

1 package store bought pie crust (I used Pillsbury)

8-10 plums (small to medium sized)

1/2 cup sugar

zest of one lemon

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 Tbs. flour

1 egg beaten with a tiny bit of water

raw sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice and pit the plums and cut them into wedges. Toss the plums gently with the sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, almond extract and flour.

Unroll a single pie crust on to a parchment paper lined baking sheet (the pie crust will unroll more easily if you let it sit on your counter for at least 30 minutes to an hour so that it gets close to room temperature). Arrange the wedges in a circular pattern starting from the outside and working your way to the center, leaving at least 2 inches of pie crust plain around the edges.

Fold the pie crust up and over the wedges all the way around. In a small bowl beat the egg with water. With a pastry brush, spread the egg wash all over the edges. Sprinkle raw sugar on the dough.

Bake for approximately 35- 40 minutes or until the fruit gets bubbly and the dough gets golden brown.

 

A Self-Proclaimed Pinterest Recipe Critic…

Tonight I’m getting together with a group of people, undercover foodies, to begin a conversation of how we can form a group based on cooking, learning and fun. The group already has a name – Sweet Serendipity, Supper, Sips and Such – and the name leads me to believe that the members will all be “foodie forces” unto themselves. The person who coordinated the group asked us to bring an appetizer or something sweet, preferably a recipe taken from the Pinterest site.

Now I know I’ve mentioned this before but I am a big fan of Pinterest. What I love about using Pinterest is that you are exposed to a broader segment of the internet often being introduced to interesting websites and blogs you might never have found through Google. And I love it for the wealth of cooking information and recipes that are pinned to various boards. So, needless to say, I am “on board” with the idea of this cooking group and with Pinterest.

For this evening’s cooking contribution I made a coffee cake recipe I found Pinterest. I made it on Friday but the coffee cake was such a hit that this morning I was faced with the dilemma of having only a meager amount to bring to the meeting. So, off I went back to Pinterest in search of something simple but also unique. I found what I was looking for on a website called “Pardon The Dog Hair” (a website I would never have found on my own), a recipe for Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Bread. The pictures of the bread looked delicious, the recipe was simple and I had most of the ingredients already so the decision to make it was easy.

The bread is made from a traditional process, combining all the dry ingredients, adding the wet ingredients and then finally folding in the blueberries and nuts.

Preparing the ingredients

Preparing the ingredients

What’s nice about this recipe is that it doesn’t use any white sugar. The sweetness comes from brown sugar, apple sauce and bananas. After you combine all the dry ingredients you whisk together the eggs, apple sauce and bananas and then combine the wet mixture with the dry mixture. Last, you carefully fold in the blueberries and the nuts and put the mixture in a prepared loaf pan.

bbo4

bbobread2

The recipe calls for baking it at 350 for one hour – that seemed like a long time to me so I started with 40 minutes and pulled the bread out of the oven at that time. As you can see the bread was already quite dark and even though it was very firm at the very very middle top it wasn’t completely done. Despite that the end result, as you can see below, was still wonderful but there definitely were some lessons learned about making this recipe.

Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Bread

Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Bread

First lesson: The next time I make this I will use a glass loaf pan. I used a dark loaf pan and I think it contributed to making the bread darker more quickly even when it was not completely done. Second lesson: If you look at the pictures of the bread from the website where the recipe was taken, it looks like the top of the bread was also dusted with quick cooking oats. I think that would offset the very dark color on top, keeping in mind that whole wheat flour is the main flour in this bread so it will naturally look darker. Third lesson: The recipe did not call for this but I dusted the pecans with just a smidge of flour. I’ve found that the nuts will more evenly disperse themselves into a mixture and not just rise to the top during the baking process when you do that.

Rating for the recipe: Between very good and excellent – if the blogger did in actuality dust the top of the bread with quick cooking oats like the pictures on the site seem to suggest, I would note that in the recipe. Taste-wise the rating is excellent, and I love the fact that this recipe is delicious without having to use white sugar. This is definitely a recipe to try. 

I have a feeling I will be trying a lot more recipes from the Pinterest site in the upcoming weeks and months. I plan to share the escapades of making and eating them on this blog. If you see a Pinterest recipe you’d like me to “test” with the group – just let me know. If you’re anything like me you’ve probably been wondering if all those recipes you see posted are really as good as they look. And if you have any experiences with Pinterest recipes, I would love to hear about them. The Pinterest test kitchen is now open for business.