Roasted plums have a gorgeous jewel-toned lusciousness and fabulous depth of flavour, and rest on a mascarpone base atop a crisp butter tart crust. Delectable.
- 227 g or 8 oz all-purpose flour
- 80 g or 6 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 180 g or 6 oz unsalted butter, melted
4-5 pounds firm but ripe black or red plums (20–25 plums), halved, pitted, skin left on
300g or 1 1/2 c granulated sugar plus 25 g or 2 tbsp sugar (divided)
30 g or 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
227 g or 8 oz mascarpone cheese
80 g or 1/3 cup crème fraîche
- 42 g or 2 tbsp honey
Make the tart crust:
- Position an oven rack in the lowest part of the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF or 325ºF Convection.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together. Add the melted butter and stir with a wooden spoon until dough forms (about 15 seconds). Using your hands, press two-thirds of the dough into the bottom of a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the remaining dough into the fluted sides of the pan. Press and smooth the dough with your hands to an even thickness.
- Place the pan on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and bake on the lowest oven rack, until the crust is deep golden brown and firm to the touch (30 to 35 minutes), rotating the pan halfway through baking. Set aside until ready to fill.
Make the filling:
- In a large bowl, mix the halved plums, sugar, and lemon juice. Add the seeds from half of the vanilla bean*; toss to coat.
- Arrange the plums, cut side down, in two large baking dishes and roast until tender (40-60 minutes). Let cool slightly. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the plums to a rimmed baking sheet and cover loosely with cling film; chill.
- Pour the juices from the baking dishes into a small saucepan; bring to a boil and simmer until thickened and reduced to a scant 1/2 cup (10-15 minutes), Watch this carefully. It “catches” easily.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the remaining 25 g of sugar with the mascarpone, crème fraîche, and honey. Scrape in the seeds from the other half of the vanilla bean*. Beat on high speed until the mixture holds firm peaks. Do not overbeat or the mascarpone may separate.**
- Spread the mascarpone mixture evenly over the bottom of the tart crust. Arrange a single layer of the less attractive chilled plum halves over the mascarpone mixture. Arrange the remaining plum halves on top, starting on the outside and overlapping tightly to form a spiral, doming slightly in the middle. Using a pastry brush, spread some of the glaze over the plums; if it has firmed up too much, gently reheat it.
- Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
* Make your own vanilla extract: Fill a small glass bottle with vodka and add vanilla bean pods from which the seeds have been scraped. You’ll need half a dozen pods to about 4 oz of vodka, and it takes a few weeks for the vanilla to infuse the vodka. You can top up the bottle with vodka and just keep adding the pods as you use the extract.
**The plums can be roasted, the glaze made, and mascarpone cream can be prepared one day ahead of time. Cover them all separately and keep chilled.