So this started as a big mistake on my weeks produce box. Since coming back to Baltimore for a slightly strange school year, I decided to sign up for Hungry Harvest which is a service meant to rescue ugly or excess produce and was started at the University of Maryland! In my first order, I didn’t quite read the fine print while customizing my order and accidentally ordered 30+ pluots…Yikes! While I do love pluots and my boyfriend has grown fond of them, there is no way that the two of us could consume that many without starting to hate them. At the suggestion of Jason, I turned my pluots into a modified tarte tatin and it was delicious to eat! I will concede that this is not a “true” tarte tatin as it does not have a caramelized bottom but I think the maple syrup base adds more flavor than the overwhelmingly sugary taste of caramel. I would like to make some changes to the recipe at some point so if I have time to experiment, I’ll update the recipe.
For this recipe, I ended up making my own puff pastry which I think went rather well for my first attempt. There weren’t as many layers as I was hoping for but I think it was an impressive showing for my first attempt. Pluots also have a high volume of water and they may have soaked the pastry a little too much, retarding the rise of the layers of pastry. Either way, Jason and I have nearly polished off the whole tart in two days which I think is rather impressive! I also remembered after the fact that for a liquid filling, you normally cut a little steam hole in the top of the tart in order to let the moisture escape. Guess who forgot their steam hole? I can’t wait to make this again with a few improvements. I also really enjoyed the process of making puff pastry, with a cold countertop, it wasn’t nearly as daunting as it looks on television. I did have much more time to leisurely make the pastry which I think is key for keeping the butter chilled. The pastry can be made throughout the day between larger tasks and then rested overnight before use. Obviously, if you’re rushed for time, do NOT try to make your own pastry! As Ina Garten says, if you can’t make your own, store-bought is fine. Especially if you’re a novice baker, pastry can be tricky and finicky and you may have more failure than success but I encourage you to keep going, you will get there one of these days!
Pluot Tarte Tatin Recipe
For the Puff Pastry (Paul Hollywood’s Recipe)
Makes double what you need for the tarte tatin, roughly 600 grams
- 150 grams chilled Bread flour
- 150 grams chilled All Purpose flour
- Pinch of salt (1/4 teaspoon)
- 2 large eggs
- 100 milligrams cold water
- 250 grams chilled unsalted European-style butter
- Combine the flours, salt, eggs, and water in a large bowl and gently mix to an even dough. Transfer to a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth (up to 10 minutes). The dough will feel tight. Shape into a bowl, wrap in plastic, and chill in the fridge overnight.
- Flatten the butter into a rectangle, 15″x 7″ and return it to the fridge, overnight or for at least an hour to harden.
- Roll out the dough to 24″x 8″ and place the butter on the dough so it covers the bottom two-thirds of the dough.
- Fold the exposed dough on the top over the butter and then fold the bottom butter covered third over the top flap. Pinch the edges together to seal and put into a plastic bag to chill for 1 hour.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and place on a slightly floured surface. Roll it out to a rectangle and fold the bottom and top quarters to meet in the center. Fold this dough in half and chill in a bag for another hour. (This is a book turn! It creates lamination very quickly so if you want more layers, make the next two turns book turns rather than single turns)
- Take the dough out and roll it into a rectangle. Fold down the top third of the dough and then fold up the bottom third to make a square of dough. Wrap and chill for another hour. (This is a single turn)
- Repeat step 6 and chill overnight. After overnight chill, the pastry can be used at will or frozen up to three months. If frozen, thaw in the fridge the night before.
For the Tarte Tatin (Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Plum Tarte Tatin recipe)
Serves about 8,
- 600 grams ripe pluots, de-pitted and halved
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
- 120 milligrams maple syrup
- 30 milligrams water
- 320 grams puff pastry, rolled into a circle
- Vanilla Ice Cream for serving
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Warm a cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
- Add pluots to the pan with the water and cook for 1 minute. Place them carefully for decorative purposes, a tarte tatin is turned upside down to serve so the base ends up on top.
- From a height, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon over the pan and evenly pour the maple syrup over the pluots. (The cinnamon is sprinkled from a height to prevent it being burned in the pan, which is v unpleasant, and it helps it to spread evenly on the pluots)
- Place the pastry over the pluots and using a spoon or your hands, press the pastry to the edges and over the pluots. Trim excess pastry and use it to patch any holes. Use a paring knife to cut a small hole in the center to allow steam out.
- Bake at the bottom of the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and puffed up.
- Using GOOD and LONG oven gloves, place a plate over the skillet and flip the tarte out of the pan. If properly baked, it shouldn’t stick at all.
- Dish up with ice cream and sprinkle remaining cinnamon on top. Enjoy!