Thursday, 12 April 2012

Roasted Plum Tarts



Plums are pretty much perfect as they are, right? I mean why tamper with Autumn's finest? Ummm.... because I can?

What is it with plums anyway? They manage to epitomise Autumn, all those lovely golds and reds. In any other place those colours would be considered brash and shouty, but on a plate or an Autumn landscape they are sublime.

We are gonna roast these babies 'til their juices run (that's not a song lyric - or, at least, I don't think so). We're gonna marry them with creamy yoghurt and parcel them up in sweet pastry. Ohhhh, I love Autumn.

Roasted Plum Tarts
from Annabel Langbein's Free Range in the City
Makes 6

For the Pastry Cases:
You can use store-bought sweet pastry cases or make your own from frozen shortcrust pastry sheets. Better still, make your own sweet shortcrust pastry using the recipe below. Which ever way you go, you'll need six of them.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry:
Makes more than you'll need for 6 pastry cases, but you can freeze the rest for another day (a very handy thing to have in the freezer).
360g butter, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 egg
3 1/3 cups plain flour
a pinch of salt

Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until it is light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat to combine. Add the flour and salt and mix until just combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured board (it will be really soft) and use floured hand to bring it together. Cut it into 4 quarters and freeze 3 quarters. Wrap the remaining quarter in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees C. Take the pastry out of the fridge and cut into 6 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball and then flatten it into a circle with the palm of your hand. Mould the pastry into the holes of a six-hole muffin pan. Make sure the pastry lines the base and sides of the holes. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

For the Plums:
Halve three fresh plums and remove stones. (I baked more plums than I needed for this recipe because they are delicious and can be eaten on muesli or with ice cream... and because I'm a greedy girl).
Place the plums, cut side up, in a shallow baking dish, drizzle with 2 tablespoons honey and 1/4 cup water and bake at 250 degrees C until plums are slightly browned and juices have caramelised (about 10 minutes).

For the Filling:
1 tablespoon of honey
6 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt
3 tablespoons sour cream

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.

To Assemble:
Just before serving, spoon filling into baked sweet pastry shells. Top each with a plum half and drizzle with caramelised plum syrup.

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