Short pastry and plums

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No matter what you want to master you always have to start with the basics. I think every person that is not afraid of using their oven attempted to make a short pastry tart. They are quite easy to make and there is no better way to make a delicious, seasonal fruit shine.  One problem that I sometimes get is the soggy bottom of the tart. If you use juicy fruit it will be a problem if you don’t want to pre-bake the tart shell (and sometimes if you do it still might be a bit soggy). Mister Felder gives in his book two wonderful tips how to deal with that. First put some breadcrumbs at the bottom of the shell, they will take the moisture of the fruit and make the bottom more crunchy. A second tip is even better. As you might know fruit when combined with sugar leak out way more juice. A simple solution is to not put sugar, however if you want to add a bit more sweetness to the fruit that is a bit acidic do it just after you take the tart out of the oven. Hot plums (or any other fruit you use) will dissolve and absorb the sugar creating a perfect layer of soft and juicy fruit on top of a crunchy, buttery tart. Yum!

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Plum tart
by Christophe Felder “Patisserie. Mastering the fundamentals of french pastry”

Short pastry:
– 125 g butter
– 250 g all-purpose flour
– 1 tsp. salt
– 40 g of sugar
– 125 ml coldwater (I actually use water mixed with 4-5 cubes of ice to make sure it’s as cold as possible)

Fruit filling:
– 50 g fine breadcrumbs
– 500 g plums (or any other seasonal fruit you have at hand)
– 25 g sugar
– 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

For the pastry:

  1. Combine butter, flour, salt and sugar in a mixer bowl and  mix with a paddle attachment until it forms fine crumbs
  2. Beat in the water and mix shortly just until combined.
  3. Form into a flat disk, wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge for 2 hours (or best overnight)
  4. Preheat the oven to 200 C and put the rack in the bottom third of the oven.
  5. Roll out the dough to the tart shape (24 cm with removable bottom would be best) and cut to the size.
  6. Prick the bottom with the fork

For the filling:

  1. Spread the breadcrumbs evenly at the bottom of the shell.
  2. Pit the plums and make a small incision on one end of each plum half (they will look nicer and are easier to arrange).
  3. Arrange the plums in the tart shell.
  4. Bake the part for 35-40 minutes (until the crust is golden an fruit tender)
  5. Sprinkle the mixed sugar and cinnamon on top of the tart.

Tastes best when still warm. Enjoy!

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