Plum Kuchen

RECIPE #268, DAY #450



ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Plum Kuchen” from Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors*

TIMING: 1 hour

DIFFICULTY: Fairly easy, but familiarity with baking and pies/tarts will increase your success

TOOLS: A tart pan and a food processor

COOK TYPE: Oven, Baking

dsc_0651HEALTH: Basically, this is like eating a fruit pie, but with less sugar that you are probably used to. Butter. White flour. But not the worst baked good, by a long shot.

EXPERIENCE: I am very regulated at the grocery store. I’ve got a list and I’m stickin’ to it. But every once in awhile, I see something (usually in the produce department) that just catches my eye and I have to take it home to try it. This time, it was prune plums. Officially, they fell under “fruit” on my list, which means fruit to set on the table so that everyone can eat it out of hand. But I had a feeling my family would not eat plums very fast, and I was right. A few days later, I was thumbing through my random-produce-go-to-book, which is Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors.

My daughter liked this kuchen/tart so much that she feigned passing out on the floor and then requested that we serve it alongside a raspberry tart at her approaching birthday party. Very refined.

dsc_0653NOTES: You could do this with other fruits, but the small, jewel-colored plums were perfect. I really thought it needed whipped cream or some sort of sauce, however. Perhaps a cinnamon caramel? Or a cardamom-orange-chocolate?


  1. Preheat oven to 375F and butter a tart pan.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon granulated sugar with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor, pulse 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour, 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Quickly pulse in 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter until crumbed.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, beat 1 egg with 1 egg yolk. Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, 1 teaspoon orange zest (or a few drops orange extract), and 1 cup milk. Add to the flour, then pulse just until combined into a thick dough.
  5. Press the dough into the tart pan, in the bottom and up the sides. Prettily arrange 10-12 medium-sliced plums around the dough. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with the sugar mixture.
  6. Bake for about 40 minutes, until baked through and fruit is soft.

Serve with a fruity black tea and whipped maple cream.

*Recipe has been changed from the original.


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