230g pack of pastry: pâte brisée*
750g of plums
75g of sugar (I used demerara)
50g of butter (I used lightly salted)
According to the original recipe, these quantities serve 6.
I’ll be honest, we had a quarter each. We probably could have just eaten it all in one sitting.
*We’ve been trying to work out exactly what this means. It seems to come somewhere between a shortcrust and a puff. Much greater structural integrity than puff but a lot lighter than your standard shortcrust. If in doubt, a decent shortcrust pastry would be totally acceptable, I’m sure. I’m including a recipe I found for the thing itself if you’re inclined to make your own.
Note on equipment:
A tarte tatin tin is not a must but is strongly recommended for this activity. It really does make a difference having the right kit.
If you can’t lay your hands on one, though, you’re looking for a decently heavy-bottomed, ideally non-stick, hob-to-oven round tin, about 5-6cm/2.5” deep and 24cm/9.5” diameter.
If you can’t access a hob-to-oven tin, you probably can transfer the fruit after the first stage but it’s going to be fiddly and messy and if you’re looking to get good presentation, this might make it harder.
- Pre-heat the oven to 210°C/410°F.
- Halve the plums and remove the stones.
- Grease the tin with 25g of the butter.
- Lay out the plum halves, skin-side down, in the bottom of the tin and sprinkle the sugar evenly across them.
- Heat on a low light until the butter and sugar caramelise lightly. It’s important not to rush this stage or you will end up with bitter caramel.
- Remove from the heat and dot the remaining butter across the fruit.
- Unroll (or roll out) your pastry and cover the plums right to the side of the tin.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Turn out onto a plate (ideally one with a bit of a lip to contain the copious juices) and serve hot with cream or ice-cream or custard.
250g of flour
A pinch of salt
125g of butter
1 egg yolk
A little cold water
- Rub the butter into the flour and salt until you have a crumbly powder.
- Add the egg yolk and combine until the mixture forms a ball. Add a little cold water if it’s not coming together.
- Knead the mixture 4 or 5 times until the consistency is smooth.
- Shape it into a ball and chill it for 2 hours.
- Roll out immediately before use. It gets soft and sticky if it gets too warm.