{summer in a crust} Strawberry Pluot Crumb Tart

This weekend, I went to meet a friend’s adorable twin baby girls for the first time. Somehow I knew they’d be sweet as sugar, so I wanted to bring the new parents a homemade summer dessert to reward them for all of their hard work in these first few months of parenthood.

I used a recipe from Martha Stewart that called for raspberries and plums, but the pluots and strawberries at my local market were too good to pass up, so I used them instead. I ended up using 2 pretty big pluots and about a cup of strawberries, quartered. Aside from that substitution, I followed Martha’s recipe to a T. First, you make a crumbly dough of hazelnuts, butter, flour, sugar, and cinnamon and press most of it into a springform pan for the crust. After 20 minutes in the oven, you add sliced fruit to the crust, top it with a simple custard mixture, and sprinkle the remaining dough on top. Another 45 minutes of baking time, and you’ve got summer in a crust.

It was hard not to resist eating it warm right out of the oven, but I thought it would be rude to bring a half-eaten tart. We delivered it with a couple flavors of Bi-Rite Creamery ice cream, and the gooey, crumby, custardy, fruity concoction was a hit all around. Added bonus: with the parents distracted by dessert, I got the twins all to myself!

Find the recipe here.

P.S. I want to point out a few things about the photos. I recently went to the Food and Light workshop in Boulder to learn from four of the world’s food photo masters (White on Rice Couple, Jen Yu, and Matt Wright). I’m working on a long and overwrought post about it, but in the meantime I’d like to report that I found myself using not one but two of the useful things I learned in the workshop. One: If you’re making some messy fruit crumbly thing that’s just going to look all brown once it’s cooked, keep a little of the fruit out and put it on top so the end result will make a prettier picture. Two: bounce light off a white board (or in my case, a periodic table placemat) to fill in light and get rid of unsightly shadows. Thank you Todd, Diane, Jen, and Matt!

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7 Responses

  1. Nicole says:

    Beautiful. Great shots and tips. Very helpful since I missed the piece of advice about the fruit at the workshop and I am planning to make this very same tart for an event this weekend. I’m using peaches and raspberries for mine.

  2. Annapet says:

    As usual, this doesn’t disappoint, Karen. Baking is relatively new to me though I find baking more as of late.

    Looking forward to more photo tips. I am so lazy, I haven’t gotten to know my camera.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. My, my! If someone had brought this beauty to me when I had infants, I would have been so happy! It looks delish

  4. Abigail says:

    Yours looks better than Martha Stewarts!