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Rustic Plum Tart (Galette)

My mum dropped off some ripe plums that needed using up this weekend and I decided I wanted to make a galette, or what I prefer to call a rustic tart.  One thing I learned for sure making this tart is that the word "rustic" in cooking, really just means that you didn't take your time making it look super pretty.  I mean, look at the crust on this - it is ragged and uneven around the edges, but instead of saying it's a mess, we just call it rustic!  Works for me!!

The great thing about these kinds of tarts is that you honestly can use whatever fruit you have on hand.  Think peaches, apples, pears, plums, any kind of berries, rhubarb or a mix.  You can add herbs or nuts or make it savory by substituting veggies and different kinds of cheeses, really whatever your heart desires.  It's honestly just a flatter, thinner pie that you don't have to make look beautiful - you don't even use a pie pan, you can make it on any flat pan you have- and people will just ooh and aah over it with much less effort on your part than a pie would have taken.  

Since these rustic tarts don't cook as long in the oven, you really need to slice your ingredients a bit thinner than you would for a pie so the filling cooks in time.  The layer of jam on the bottom of the fruit helps keep it from getting soggy.  The butter adds a little richness to the filling and the sugar over the top makes it sparkle.  I LOVE adding just a little white cornmeal to the crust because it gives the crust a more rustic texture!  Seriously, give this a try because I never quite feel like I can fail with a rustic tart or galette opposed to a pie!  I like to make this dough in a food processor, but if you don't have one, you can totally mix this by hand, just be careful not to keep your warm hands in the dough too long or all your butter will melt!  Maybe use a pastry cutter or forks or knives to break up the butter in the dough.) 

For this plum rustic tart, here are your ingredients:

1-1/2 cups AP flour
1/4 cup white cornmeal, finely ground
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
8 Tbsp cold butter, cut in to cubes
1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) ice cold water

About 4 plums, pitted and sliced thinly
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon 
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp jam
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp butter, cubed
1 egg whisked together with 1 Tbsp water
More sugar for sprinkling the crust

For the crust:  In a food processor, pulse together the flour, cornmeal, salt and sugar.  Pulse in the cold butter until it is just crumbly in texture.  Pulse in the ice cold water, 1 Tbsp at a time till it just binds together.  Empty the dough on to a large piece of parchment paper, bring the dough together quickly and form in to a round disk.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.  (Reserve the parchment paper for a later step.)

Prepare your plums by quartering them, removing the pit and then slicing each quarter in to three even slices. Place them in a large bowl.  Add the sugar, flour, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and salt and toss gently until all of the plums are coated.  They will start to become syrupy.  Set aside.

After the crust has chilled, remove the plastic wrap and place the disk of dough on the parchment paper.  Place another piece of parchment paper over the top and roll the dough out to about a 12 inch circle.  Gently remove the top piece of parchment paper and discard.  

Place your jam in the center of the circle of dough and use a spoon to spread it out to about two inches from the edge.  Place the plums on top of the jam.  You can just pile them up in there or you can arrange them in a fan pattern starting from the center.  (Don't let the plums cover the last two inches of the dough.)  Fold the edges of the dough towards the center, just covering the edges of the fruit and leaving much of the fruit exposed.  If you have difficulty getting the dough to come up off the parchment, bend the parchment up and use a knife to assist you getting the dough off.  

Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar over the top of the exposed fruit, and drop the little cubes of butter over the top of the fruit.  Brush the top of the crust with the egg wash, then sprinkle the crust with some sugar.  (I like to use the sparkling coarse decorators sugar here, but you can use whatever you have.)


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