There is nothing like a perfectly-ripe plum, with its dark-red, matt-like skin. Inside, the flesh reveals a golden, fibrous treasure. I could stare at plums for hours – such an astonishingly pretty fruit. My recipe for today is an easy-to-make tart, with a velvety charm, and is a dream to look at.
• 1 and a half cups of cake flour
• 125 g butter
• 1/3 cups casting sugar
• 1 egg yolk
• 1 tablespoon iced water
• 1 kg ripe, firm plums (halved and pips removed)
• 1/4 cup soft brown sugar
• 1 juice of an orange
• 1 can condensed milk
• 1/2 cup lemon juice
• 230-250 g plain cream cheese
This tart also looks beautiful when assembled in smaller jars. Just substitute the baked pastry for buttery cookie crumbs (200g digestive or tennis biscuits mixed with 80 g melted butter).
For the pastry
Place the flour, butter and sugar in a food processor. Pulse until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the yolk and pulse again. Now, add the iced water and process until it starts to come together in a ball. As soon as it does, remove from the processor, then knead briefly to form a smooth ball. Shape into a disc, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Now roll out on a lightly floured surface (about 0,5 cm thick). Transfer to a greased tart tin (about 20-23 cm diameter), then press gently into the corners and trim the top. Line with baking paper, then fill with dry beans or rice. Pre-heat oven to 200 C, then bake for 15 minutes. Remove paper and beans, then bake for another 5-10 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
For the roasted plums
Place halved plums on a baking tray (alternate cut-side up and down), then sprinkle with sugar and drizzle with orange juice. Bake at 200 C for 15 minutes, then remove and leave to cool.
For the filling
Using electric beaters, beat the condensed milk with the lemon juice until smooth. Add the cream cheese, then beat until well mixed. Pour into the prepared cooled pastry case, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. When ready to serve, top with cool-roasted plums, then slice and serve.