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Tiny Plum Tarts: Summer Fruit's Last Hurrah

mini-plum-tarts-2

Growing up, we had a plum tree right in our yard. Back then, we mostly ate them right off the tree, but I wish we’d also made a few of these tiny tarts. The great thing about good fruit is you don’t need much in the way of sugar or spices–just enough to bring out the natural flavors. These plums tarts are very simple, but they’re still a big bite of summery deliciousness. Send off summer 2011 in style!

Tiny Plum Tarts
makes 6 tarts

For the dough
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
6 tablespoons cold butter
1/4 cup ice water

Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of your food processor. Add the butter and pulse several times, until the mixture is sandy. Drizzle in the water and pulse several more times, until mixture is combined.

Turn out onto a floured surface and gather into a ball. Divide in two, flatten into discs, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least a half-hour.

For the filling
8 French prune plum or sugar plums
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon ground instant tapioca (I use my coffee grinder)
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and also place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven to preheat.

Combine all of the filling ingredients and set aside.

Roll out each disc into a long, 15 x 5″ rectangle, and cut into thirds. Press the dough squares into the prepared muffin tin. Do the same for the other disc. Fold dough edges under and flute.

Carefully spoon in the filling, arranging the plum slices so they fit nicely in the cup. If you’d like, sprinkle each mini tart with a little more sugar.

Place muffin tin onto preheated baking sheet and bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling vigorously and the crust is golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the muffin tin, and serve.

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