This has to be one of our most asked-for recipes, and after long deliberation we have decided to share this recipe with you. The beautiful crimson colour of ripe plums makes this tart irresistible. Blood plums are our favourite to use when available, but most importantly the fruit should always be at its peak of ripeness.
Makes one 20 x 30 cm tart
Preparation time: 35 minutes plus 30 minutes chilling time for pastry •
Cooking time: 55 minutes
300g (10½ oz/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
150g (5½ oz) cold butter, diced
250g (9oz) caster (superfine) sugar, plus 3 tbsp for sprinkling
A pinch of salt
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
750g (1 lb 10oz) firm ripe plums
4 tbsp apricot jam, to glaze
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Lightly grease and line a 20 x 30 cm (8 x 12 inch) slab tin with baking paper, ensuring the sides of the tin are fully lined.
2. Put the flour and butter into a food processor and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and salt and mix again.
3. Mix in the egg yolks, 2 tbsp cold water and the vanilla and bringtogether until the ingredients form a ball.
4. Quarter the plums and remove the stones. Press the pastry evenly into the prepared tin, place the plums on top in rows, sprinkle with the extra sugar and bake for 45–50 minutes until cooked and golden.
5. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool in the tin. Gently heat the apricot jam in a small saucepan, then pour through a sieve into a bowl. Brush the plums liberally with the glaze. Cut evenly into 8–10 pieces.
6. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This tart can be stored in the fridge for up to 3–4 days.
The Cook and Baker by Cherie Bevan and Tass Tauroa (Murdoch Books, £20). Photography by Chris Chen