I think one of the basics you need up your kitchen sleeves is a good tart dough. If you have a savoury one and a sweet one, you’re good to go. Well, when I was thinking about making my first dinner as part of Vegan MoFo, I knew I needed a vegan sweet tart dough, and so turned to my favourite crust of all time: Clotilde’s Easy Olive Oil Tart Crust (from her blog, Chocolate & Zucchini).
Clotilde mentioned the possibility of using this as a sweet crust, by halving the flour and adding a bit of sugar. Well, in vegan fashion I tried it with maple syrup, and it was a grand success! And quite filling — I use 100% whole wheat flour whenever I can, and it works wonderfully in this recipe too.
But of course, a tart is not just about the crust. I had picked up some Italian prune plums from a local farmer’s market last week, planning on a summery cake, but yesterday got really cold around these parts. Sweater weather, in fact. So when I saw this recipe for a Rustic Plum and Port Tart from Bon Appetit, I knew it would be perfect for the chilly beginning-of-Fall night we had yesterday.
The tart was declared a “bold” dessert. And I love it.
Whole Wheat Tart Crust
- 250 g (2 c.) whole wheat flour
- 2g (1/2 tsp.) sea salt
- 30 ml (2 Tbsp.) maple syrup
- 60 ml (1/4 c.) olive oil
- 120 ml (1/2 c.) cold water
Plum & Port Filling
- 500 ml (2 c.) port
- 120 ml (1/2 c.) maple syrup
- 1g (1/4 tsp.) ground allspice
- 5ml (1 tsp.) vanilla extract
- 650g (about 20) Italian prune plums (or 5-6 regular plums)
- 8g (1 Tbsp.) whole wheat flour
In a bowl, mix together the flour and salt with a fork. Add the oil and maple syrup, and mix well. Add the water, and mix with your hands until the dough forms a ball.
Flour your work surface lightly, and place your ball of dough onto your work surface. Roll out the dough using a rolling pin into a circle 8cm (3″) larger in diameter than your tart pan (so that you’ll have an overlap of 4cm (1.5″) to fold over once your filling is inside). Carefully place your dough circle into the pan, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375F.
While the dough is resting in the fridge, prepare your filling: in a pot on the stove, bring port, maple syrup, allspice, and vanilla to a boil. Keep boiling until the mixture has reduced to about 167 ml (2/3 c.), about 10-15 minutes.
Halve your plums, and remove the pits. Then halve them again (so you have quartered & pitted plums). Place the plums in a large bowl, sprinkle with the whole wheat flour, and toss to coat the plums with flour. Pour half of the port syrup over your plums, and toss gently. Set the remaining port syrup aside for later.
Bake the tart at 375F for 45 minutes, until the tart crust is golden. Let cool for 5 minutes on a cooling rack before removing the tart ring, then slicing and serving.
Serve the tart warm along with the remaining syrup.