Plum Tart (Zwetschenkuchen)
by Gil Marks


Central European Jews made use of seasonal Italian plums to make this much-beloved treat.


Pâte sablée (rich shortcrust pastry)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg or 2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
Ice water as needed

Ingredients Filling:3 pounds ripe firm plums, preferably Italian (Lombard), pitted and quartered
About 1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons margarine


Pastry Directions:
Beat the butter or margarine and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and salt. Gradually blend in the flour. (It should have the consistency of a sugar cookie dough. If it is too stiff, add a little ice water.) Form into a ball and flatten into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 week.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 1/4-inch thick round about 12 inches in diameter. Transfer to a 10-inch springform pan, pressing partway up the sides, or tart pan. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Directions Plum Filling:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Arrange the plums cut side up in tight concentric circles in the pastry shell. Sprinkle with the sugar and dot with the margarine.
Bake until the fruit is tender and the pastry is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let the tart cool for at least 10 minutes before removing the outer rim of the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Streusel Plum Tart: Combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon or grated lemon zest. Cut in 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine to produce coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over top of the plums.

German Plum Tart: Brush the inside of the pastry with 2 tablespoons lekvar (plum jam) or roll out 8-ounces marzipan and press into the bottom of the shell.


Recipe: Kosher, parve or dairy, desert, Rosh Hashanah