There is usually something that keeps non-baker types from actually making desserts. The die-hards will make dessert no matter what, but non-baker types have their “lines in the sand”.  I find that rolling out or making a pie crust is a top contender for non-baker types as the leading reason to: purchase dessert from the store, con someone else into making it or to skip it and buy some Ben and Jerry’s!

This tart is different. The crust is assembled in the food processor or mixer and pushed into the tart shell by hand. No rolling pins or circle stencils and no patch work crusts. This recipe is easy, delicious and looks like a pro made it. This one is a keeper for the holidays, an autumn supper or date night when you want to look like a domestic rock star.

4 ounces butter or non-hydrogenated shortening

¼ cup sugar

Pinch of salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Special equipment-9-inch false bottom tart pan

  1. Mix the shortening, sugar and salt until creamy.
  2. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and mix until blended.
  3. Add the flour and mix until just blended. Do not over mix.
  4. Push the dough into a 9-inch pan. Be sure to spread the dough evenly.
  5. Chill the shell until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 375

25-30 Italian Prune Plums or Stanley Plums, halved and pitted

½ cup cornstarch

½ cup sugar

  1. Toss the plums with the cornstarch and sugar.
  2. Starting at the outer rim, place the plums in the same direction, slightly leaning on the one behind. They should look like they are standing up.
  3. Do the same thing on the next circle, only face the plums in the opposite direction. Fill in the center with one or 2 plum halves.
  4. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the crust is medium brown and the plums are softened. Cool.
  5. Remove the tart pan rim and dust with powdered sugar.
Laura Frankel is an Executive Chef at Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering and author of numerous kosher cookbooks including Jewish Cooking for All Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes. To purchase her books, click here.
One Comment
  1. Hello,

    The original recipe is written to include lemon zest, but inclusion is not mentioned later. I assume it should be added to the crust dough at the same time as the lemon juice.

    This tart is in the oven as I type this. Our house is smelling divine! Can’t wait for it to come out of the oven.

    Thanks for sharing,

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