Sugar Plum Tartlets

The moment I saw those tiny sugar plums at Newark’s Farmer’s Market I knew I had to make something with them. But what? The possibilities seemed endless. The next day at work it just so happened that there was extra pie dough lying around and rather than chucking it, I took it home (perks of the job). What better way to use it than sugar plum tartlets!  And I have the most adorable mini fluted tart pans. Perfect!

My original recipe turned out slightly too tart, if that’s possible, so I adjusted the sugar in this recipe. But keep in mind that the sweetness of the plums will vary, so taste the plums before and after cooking and add more or less sugar according to your preference.

I topped mine off with good vanilla ice cream. Some other delicious options are brown butter or condensed milk ice cream, or plain ol’ whipped cream. Enjoy!

Sugar Plum Tartlets

Yield: 6 tartlets
Prep time: 1 1/2 hr


2 cups plums (works with any variety), pitted and roughly chopped
1 cup plums, halved, pitted and cut into thin wedges
1T butter
2T Grand Marnier
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
juice of half lemon
1/2t cornstarch
pinch of salt
milk and sugar for sprinkling
store-bought or home-made pie dough


1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium saucepan on medium high heat, melt the butter. Add roughly chopped plums and cook for a minute. Add the Grand Marnier and flambé. Allow the alcohol to cook out for two minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and add the sugars. Dissolve the cornstarch in the lemon juice (this mixture is called a slurry). Mix in the slurry in a slow stream and add the salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower heat and cook plums for another 10-15 minutes or until the plums have softened and the mixture thickened. Cool and reserve.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pie dough to 1/4 inch. Cut into rounds large enough to cover bottom and sides of tartlet pans (I used a bowl as a stencil). Place into pans and cut any excess dough from the edges or leave excess dough on to fold on top of pie filling later, for a more rustic tart. Allow dough lined pans to cool in the refrigerator before baking.

3. Slice halved and pitted plums into wedges. Remove cooled dough and plum mixture from refrigerator. Fill each tart with plum mixture 3/4 of the way up the sides of the pan. Arrange the plum wedges on top in whatever way you like. If leaving excess dough to fold over, plum wedges can be arranged randomly in keeping with the rusticity.

4. Brush the edges of the dough with milk and sprinkle the top of each tart with sugar. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the dough has achieved a golden brown color.

5. Cool slightly on a rack. Serve as is or with your topping of choice.


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