Although autumn has technically arrived, we’re still experiencing summer up here in Washington state. My friends in California have long reached the end of their plum season, but we just got our first crop in a few weeks ago. While I was tempted to climb either the tree or a ladder to gather the highest plums I could reach, we decided that I should follow the medical advice that women in their second or third trimester should not be doing anything with the risk of falling. I’m realizing this is especially important now that I can barely put my pants on standing up without falling down! So Eric picked all the ripe plums that I couldn’t reach from the ground.
We ended up with a huge basketful of plump juicy Italian plums, so I turned some into jam, dehydrated some more, and used a couple (with an organic nectarine from our co-op) to make this beautiful rustic tart.
I’m always trying to come up with healthier dessert recipes that use natural ingredients like whole wheat flour and sucanat (dehydrated cane juice). There are easy desserts that are purely good for you, like strawberry salad or stuffed pears, but sometimes I want pie, cake, tart recipes without the processed flour and sugar.
I’ve discovered that whole wheat flour for a pie crust works better with something like a galette, a free form version of pie. The texture is different than a crust made with refined flour, but it really works in this kind of pastry.
The first time I tried this I made smaller hand pies. They were tasty, but the sucanat was a little too coarse and I felt it just wasn’t quite right. After a few tries I realized that the answer was to simply blend my sucanat until it was nice and fine. This gave it the same texture as the soft white whole wheat flour which helped the sucanat really get incorporated into the dough.
If you’ve never made a free form pie or tart before (also called a galette or crostata), this can be a really easy introduction to pie making. You don’t have to worry about the perfect pie crust that’s crimped just right because you want it to look rustic. If your dough tears, just press it back together and fold it over. Mistakes are part of the charm!
My only warning for this recipe is that you should check on it halfway through the cooking time to see how much it’s spread out. If you don’t have a big enough rim of dough folded over, your fruit juices might start oozing out as your side wall collapses.
Not to worry!!!
Just use a spatula or wooden spoon (or whatever you have close by!) to push the edges of the tart toward the center. At halfway through cooking the dough is still pretty pliable but firm enough that it should hold once you scrunch it to where you want it. I just take a silicone spatula and press from the bottom up all around the edge. Works like a charm!
Do you still have stone fruit in your area? What have you been making with it?
- 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter (cold)
- 1 1/2 soft white wheat flour
- 1/3 cup sucanat, finely ground
- 1/2 cup ice water
- 2 plums
- 1 nectarine
- 2 TBS lemon juice
- 1 TBS maple syrup
- 2 TBS soft white wheat flour, divided
- 3 TBS coarse sucanat
- Cut the butter into ½ inch chunks and freeze the chunks for 20 minutes.
- When butter is done, pulse flour and sucanat in food processor until mixed. Add butter and pulse a few times until butter is pea sized. Add ice water a little at a time and pulse each time you add a little until the dough begins to form clumps.
- Dump dough onto a floured work surface and knead slightly until dry ingredients are all incorporated. Form into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate one hour.
- Remove dough, use a rolling pin to roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper until you have an 11 inch disc. Turn dough frequently while rolling and adjust parchment paper to avoid creases. Refrigerate another 20 minutes.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- While dough chills, slice plums and nectarine into ¼ inch slices, discarding pits. Place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together lemon juice, maple syrup, and one TBS of the flour. Toss with the fruit.
- Transfer chilled dough to a pizza pan and remove top layer of parchment paper. Sprinkle remaining TBS of flour on the dough, then arrange fruit slices on the dough leaving a two-three inch rim.
- Fold rim up over fruit, pleating it as you go around the edge. Sprinkle top of dough and fruit filling with 3 TBS sucanat.
- Cook in the oven (on parchment paper on the pan) for about 40 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Cool before serving.
Approximate cost/serving: This is of course cheapest if you get your fruit for free! But even buying it in the store is not too expensive. I save money on whole wheat by getting it from Azure Standard and grinding it myself (this also ensures the best nutrition). That’s my source for sucanat as well. If I had bought the fruit in the grocery store, this still would only have cost me about $4 to make, so just 50 cents a slice.
Vegetarian: While of course this doesn’t contain meat, it does have butter. My next experiment is to try subbing coconut oil!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 116Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information is an estimate only.