Sugar plum tart

This is not an elegant plum tart that you could serve for tea, rather it is a overly juicy, messy plumdocious sort of a pudding, where the yeasty smell of the plum-soaked dough evokes drowsy wasps, long shadows and youthful hunger.   This comes from my book Citrus and Spice .

Serves 8

125ml full fat milk

1 teaspoon dried yeast

300g plain flour

ľ   teaspoon salt

50g caster sugar + extra for the plums

30g butter, melted + extra for greasing

1 medium egg, beaten

1.5kg plums, such as Marjorie Seedling

1 teaspoon cinnamon


Heat the milk until tepid.   Pour into a bowl and sprinkle on the yeast and leave for at least 5 minutes or until it has dissolved and the yeast smells and looks alive.


Place the flour, salt and 50g sugar in a mixing bowl.   Stir the cool melted butter into the yeast milk and pour into the flour.   Add the beaten egg and using your hands, mix together until it forms a soft dough.   Turn out and knead thoroughly for 5-10 minutes or until it feels silky smooth. Return to a bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour.  


Lightly butter a shallow (3cm deep) non-stick baking tray that is 30cm x 20cm.   Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface.   Knock back and roll it out into a rectangle large enough to line the buttered baking tray.   Trim the edges of the rim if necessary. Prick the base with a fork.


Preheat the oven to 220˚C/gas 7.   Halve and stone the plums.   Mix 4 tablespoons of caster sugar with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and toss the plums in the spiced sugar.   Arrange the plums standing up at a slight angle so that they come up to the edge of the rim and are tightly packed in the tray.   Leave to rise for 30 minutes.


Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the dough is golden brown and plums cooked. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a further 4 tablespoons caster sugar.   Donít worry if the plums are swimming in juice, this soaks into the crust to make a luscious soft yeasty plum pudding.   It is best eaten warm or cold.





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