If there is one dessert I could make over and over and over and over again this season, this would be it. Holy wow was this amazing. Even Mr. Sweet Butter took a bite and said “Wow! Tars, this is like Disney bakery good.” Putting my name (well one of his nicknames for me), Disney and good in the same sentence, coming from Mr.Give-Me-Disney-Or-Give-Me-Death, is the ultimate compliment.
I pulled the base recipe from a Southern Living magazine I had laying around and made a few, adjustments. I used plums but waited until they were ripe and starting to wrinkle. This made them sweeter and their color darker and more red. For a more tart, tart use younger plums.
The fruit is sliced and married to sugar, a delicious splash of pure vanilla and….pure cherry preserves. The original recipe called for plum but I was feeling rather adventurous and something about adding the cherry spoke to me deep in my soul. (or perhaps it was just my growling stomach). Either way, this beautiful mess sat for about 40 minutes and as it developed a sugary sauce, something magical happened.
It smelled and tasted like Dr. Pepper.
I don’t drink soda anymore, I really can’t tolerate it, but when I did, Dr. Pepper was one of my favorite soft drinks. I really think I stumbled on the magic formula and contemplated keeping this recipe under wraps for fear the Dr. Pepper Recipe Police would bang down my door. But this is simply too good to share.
As the sauce developed, I made a simple pie crust, added a tiny amount of almond extract to it and rolled it out about 12 inches round.
Add the plums to the center of the crust leaving about a 3 inch edge. Create an egg wash and fold the crust up over the plums, pleating and sticking with the egg as you go. Simple really. It looks like it would cover the whole thing or leave little to the beauty and imagination but the pie crust pulled back in baking and created something beautiful.
Bathe the whole thing in egg wash, sprinkle with crystal sugar and bake.
The remaining sauce is cooked up on the stove with a little corn starch and allowed to thicken a bit. When this gorgeous thing is done cooking to perfection, add the sauce, a little whipped cream, ice cream or eat plain (which is amazing in it’s own right) and serve to the pleasure of all.
Honestly, this is one of the easiest things you could make that would have people believing you are some amazing super pastry chef. It’s beautiful, looks complex and tastes like Dr. Pepper plums. If you don’t like Dr. Pepper, use a different jam. I really really contemplated using my boysenberry and think I’ll make this again with that just to see what I stumble into. The possibilities with this are endless.
Besides, this would look stunning on a holiday table. I promise though, it won’t last long.
Be connected, be simple and add butter!
- 6 large plums, thickly sliced (use more if needed)
- ⅓ cup Sugar
- ⅓ cup All natural cherry preserves
- 1½ teaspoons Pure vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon Allspice
- 1 tablespoon All purpose flour
- 1 Large egg
- Crystal sugar
- 1⅓ cup All purpose flour
- ½ cup Unsalted, cold butter
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- ⅛ teaspoon Almond extract
- 1 teaspoon water (if needed)
- In a large bowl combine plumbs, sugar, vanilla, cherry preserves and allspice.
- Stir gently and set aside for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the fruit sets; combine the flour and salt in a bowl and whisk.
- Break the butter into small pieces and using your fingers, rub into the flour until it resembles large cornmeal.
- Add the almond extract and combine.
- Add water a little at a time if needed, to form a soft ball.
- Flour a rolling surface and roll the dough into a 12 inch circle.
- Drain the plums, reserving the juice.
- Add the plums to the center of the crust leaving a 3 inch edge.
- Beat the egg in a separate bowl.
- Fold the edge of the crust towards the center and over the plums pleating with a little egg as you go. There should be an opening in the center about 5-6 inches in diameter.
- Place the tart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Brush with reamining egg and sprinkle crust with copious amounts of crystal sugar.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
- While the tart bakes, pour the reserved juice into a small sauce pan and stir with ½ teaspoon of cornstarch. Cook over medium heat until it begins to thicken.
- Remove from heat to cool and thicken up further.
- Cool the tart on a wire rack 15-20 minutes.
- To serve drizzle the sauce over the tart and serve plain or with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.