Cinnamon Sugar Plum Tart and a Little Sparrow

IMG_1315I enjoy recipes that are simple but delicious (who doesn’t?!), so when I  ran across a recipe for a five-ingredient German Plum Tart, I decided to give it a try, as plums are in season now. There are several nice things about this recipe: While it looks a bit like a pie, the soft dough is pressed into the pie pan, so there is no rolling out of recalcitrant pie dough. The dough is actually a bit cookie-like; the German call it muerbeteig. And the presence of the egg yolk in the dough keeps it tender even if, like me, you are a bit inexpert in pressing it into the pan. The end result is a melt-in-the mouth pastry with warm, jammy plums. It is delicious!

Cinnamon Sugar Plum Tart

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I used plums that were about 3″ across.

1/2 cup softened butter
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup flour
5-6 medium-sized plums, quartered

In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and 3 tablespoons sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk. Add flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until mixture forms a soft dough. Flour your fingertips and form the dough into a rough ball–place in a 10-inch pie pan. Sprinkle with flour, and press into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.

Take time to arrange the cut-up plums neatly.
Take time to arrange the cut-up plums neatly.

Mix the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Arrange the plums, skin side up with the edges overlapping, in crust. Lightly push the plums into the soft dough. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 degrees  for 35 to 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is tender. Lightly sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Baking notes: You can use any kind of plum for this, whether red, yellow or purple. If you use the little prune plums, get a dozen and use what you need for the pie, and eat the remaining plums fresh. You could also use nectarines for this. Or fresh apricots. Or . . ?

The dough will start looking golden brown after about 20 minutes, but be sure to let the tart bake until the plums are soft and baked. For me, this was at 35 minutes.

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Following are some pictures of a female sparrow who sat obligingly while I took her picture. I say “her,” when I am not expert enough to really know if the bird is a young male or a female. But there is something maternal about her, a sweet gravity, that leads me to think she’s a she.

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Sometimes I wish that more exotic birds would fly into my garden, but when I see this little sparrow, who lives with dignity and spirit in a world unaware of her existence, I am happy to have seen her.  Namaste. Fran

 

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