Bookmark and Share

Recipe: Plum Pastry

By Judith Hausman, Urban Farm contributor

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

plum pastry

Photo by Judith Hausman

The tartness of the plums pairs nicely with the richness of the pastry.

A simple butter cake or tart topped with glistening, blue plum slices may be the dessert I like best; well, maybe it’s a tie with an apple pie. While I’ve also made great jam and liqueur from Italian plums, I love how the tartness of the plums balances with the richness of the pastry in baking. Baking softens plums’ texture and caramelizes their sweetness, too.

Some of you may be familiar with Marian Burros’ legendary plum torte from the 1980s, which was re-printed in The New York Times yearly for ages. I make her plum torte nearly every year myself with a variety of fruit and a little less sugar. This recipe is from my Aunt Nancy though, and it also works equally well with other fruit, such as blueberries or apples. How could it be bad, actually? It’s butter, sugar and eggs crowned with local, seasonal fruit. Whipped cream, crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream can gild the lily.

You’ll end up with three orphaned egg whites in this recipe. Make a set of meringues with them. Or freeze them for future soufflés.

Aunt Nancy’s Plum Pastry



  • ½ pound butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons cream or sour cream (or Greek yogurt, even)
  • 1 egg white
  • about 18 plums, cut in quarters
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon


Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the remaining ingredients combining until smooth. Now you can chill the dough briefly to make it easier to work with or just go ahead, dampening your fingers a little to prevent sticking. Press the dough to about ½-inch thickness in a lightly greased or parchment paper-lined, small/10 x 9-inch jelly roll pan (a baking sheet with an edge) or a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. It’s fine if it doesn’t fill either pan.

Beat the egg white a little and brush it onto the pastry. Press the quartered plums gently into the dough in rows. Mix together the other topping ingredients and sprinkle the mix on top of the fruit heavily. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 to 50 minutes. Cool and cut into serving sizes as you like. Makes about 16 generous servings.

Read more of Locavore Recipes »

Give us your opinion on Recipe: Plum Pastry.
Submit Comment »
Looks delicious
Annie, Houston, TX
Posted: 6/1/2013 8:05:50 AM

About the Blogger

Judith Hausman

Judith Hausman
As a long-time freelance food writer, Judith Hausman has written about every aspect of food, but local producers and artisanal traditions remain closest to her heart. Eating close to home takes this seasonal eater through a journey of delights and dilemmas, one tiny deck garden, farmers’ market discovery and easy-as-pie recipe at a time. She writes from a still-bucolic but ever-more-suburban town in the New York City 'burbs.

Related Articles


Top Products
Gold Standard

*Content generated by our loyal visitors, which includes comments and club postings, is free of constraints from our editors’ red pens, and therefore not governed by I-5 Publishing, LLC’s Gold Standard Quality Content, but instead allowed to follow the free form expression necessary for quick, inspired and spontaneous communication.

Would you like to receive Farmer in the City Newsletters?X Close Window
Please provide us with your email address in order to access this valuable sustainable-living content.
Fields marked with an asterisk * are required.
* Are you at least 13 years old?
* First Name:
* Last Name:
* Email:
* City:
* State/Province:
* Enter the code shown:

  Yes, I would like to get valuable information from UrbanFarmOnline.com.
In order to opt-out of our newsletters, you can click on the "unsubscribe" link in the bottom of the newsletter.
  Yes, I would like to get valuable information from UrbanFarmOnline.com partners.