Double Damson Plum and Almond Tart

One of the magical sides of cooking is that a slight modification can unexpectedly transform an ordinary, popular dish into an unforgettable delight. I have made dozens of French-style plum tarts in my life, but always kept them simple: short crust or puff pastry, fruits, sugar and sometimes almonds. Last week, while preparing one of those, I realised I had some leftover Damson Plum Butter in the fridge and decided to spread it on the pastry before placing the plums. Very glad to find a new way of using leftovers, I haven’t suspected this thin layer would change my humble tart so much. With crunchy pastry, fruit butter, softened damsons and flaked almonds, the texture had very pleasant four different levels, while the flavours’ intensity and complexity raised my tart to a higher level of taste bud impressions. If you haven’t tested a similar tart yet, I encourage you to try it until plums are still in season. If you cannot find damsons or/and fruit butter, I am sure any other plum variety and a thick jam made from the same variety will produce a similar effect.

Before I pass to the recipe details, I would like to say I was very happy to learn that Zsuzsa (from Zsuzsa is in the Kitchen) has trusted my recipe and made my Light Unbaked Cheesecake with Vanilla. Click here to see her version.

Preparation: 1 hour

Ingredients (for 24- 28 cm diameter tart dish):

1 shortcrust or puff pastry sheet (mine weighed 230 g)

about 40 damsons or other plums

6-10 heaped tablespoons sugar (depends on the fruit’s sweetness)

10 flat tablespoons flaked almonds

about 150 g plum butter or very thick jam

Roll tout the pastry sheet and line the greased tart pan (or covered with baking paper).

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Stone the plums and halve them.

Spread the Damson Butter on the tart bottom and cover with plum halves, skin side down, overlaying parts of the fruit. Otherwise, since the fruit will shrink, you’ll end up with big empty spaces on your tart.

Sprinkle the almonds over the plums and then the sugar.

Bake for around 45 – 60 minutes until the pastry is golden.

42 Replies to “Double Damson Plum and Almond Tart”

  1. What the heck? We both randomly make a tart like thing topped with almonds in the same weekend? What are the chances? 😀 Beautiful looking tart – I keep meaning to buy plums or something similar, but as my wife has some allergy problems I end up just dumping them in the fruit basket and forgetting about them. Congrats on having your recipe made by someone else too – Hopefully I will give it a go too soon!

    1. Thank you, Charles! It’s funny isn’t it? (Frankly speaking I have had a busy day and haven’t seen yet your today’s post). On the other hand, almost every tart tastes better with almonds. My tart is not very original, maybe apart from the double fruit taste. I hope your wife doesn’t have many food allergies, I don’t have any, but I can imagine it’s annoying to avoid certain delicious products.

  2. Oooh, so wonderful! and what a great idea spreading the damson butter along the crust before layering on the plums. Almond is the perfect finishing touch. This looks so delicious Sissi and brings back memories… I use to work at a café in my teens called “Tarte Julie” – your tart rivals their best-looking desserts.

    1. Kelly, thank you for all the kind words. You make me blush! I am sure my tart is far from professional desserts! I am rather clumsy…

    1. Thank you, Jeno. I wanted to show a it what is below the plums, but now I see it’s not really visible even with the fork 😉

  3. Damsons are back, they have reunited and gained strength:) Spreading the tart with jam/fruit butter does sound like a brilliant idea.

    The damson plum butter is finished already?

    I rarely make tarts or pastries, something which I need to put more effort into. This is nice motivation.

    1. Thank you, Mr. Three-Cookies. It’s true: this tart is the quintessence of damson’s flavour! The leftovers I talk about was just a portion which was too small to fit into my jars…
      I can assure you, making tarts will be a piece of cake for you: it’s much easier than all the hundreds of different cookies you prepare and invent.

        1. I don’t find much occasions to be funny while writing about food 😉 Thank you, Mr. Three-Cookies! Have a lovely day too!

  4. This is killing me, Sissi. First the damson butter that I’m still trying to get over and now damson tart. I am seriously thinking of moving to a temperate country. Damson dessert pizza next? I mean I’ve seen dessert pizzas been done and this somehow made me think of those.

    1. I am sorry, Ping 🙁 I didn’t mean to make you sad. I am sure any plums you find in your country will be great in such a tart too!
      In fact, now that I think about it, French-style tarts have a very thin crust when compared to the American-style pies. It has barely a couple of milimetres, so I suppose it might make you think of pizza (but pizza doesn’t have the delicious buttery taste 🙂 ).

  5. Sounds so lovely!! I’m always thrilled when tweaks to a recipe just make it even better!! Loved the flaked almonds on top. This is truly a beautiful fruit tart!

  6. Mmm plums! Too bad we don’t get all the Northern varieties in the Antipodes, or not often actually. I’ve tried using jam in tarts before but they seemed to burn more easily. The butter sounds lovely! Is it like a curd (lemon butter /curd) or just butter with plums mixed in? Thanks! I can’t wait for plum season!

    1. Thank you, Martyna. The plum butter recipe is here: (it’s simply a very thick jam, cooked for many hours, a very typical Polish fruit preserve called “powidla”). I have never tried making fruit butter with other plums apart from damsons, but apple butter is delicious too.
      I make often tarts only with jam, but either I make them individual (small portions) and they bake quicker or, if I make a whole big tart, I would blind bake it before putting the jam and finishing the baking process. Here the jam stays safe under the plums, especially if they are slightly overlapping.
      I have almost forgotten you are the lucky one with Spring now 🙂

        1. Some people make “powidla” only with prunes… I imagine it must taste like heaven. I have always promised myself to try it one day.
          (I have always thought it’s strange that this kind of thick jam is called “butter” in English… but at least there is a word for it; there is no word to say it in French)

  7. This piece of tart looks just delightful-
    The damson plum butter must have rounded up the taste to perfect.
    You gave me a great idea for a weekend family dinner desert, Thank you!

  8. Sorry for my late appearance here today… with the giveaway emails I completely missed your subscription email. Sorry about that. And look what I missed! What a beauty Sissi…. I’m a HUGE puff pastry fan (hey that’s the only baking I can do!) and this looks so good… I love flaky crust and delicious plum on it… almonds are my fav toppings too. IF I make this, I acually can finish 3 pieces a day, dessert after every meal. No control…see, that’s why 1000 cal is so easy… 1300 is impossible Sissi! 😉

    1. Thank you so much, Nami! Try making my unbaked cheesecake with quark/fromage blanc instead (although it’s a completely different kind of dessert)! If you put little sugar (or a sweetener), you can enjoy it without guilt 😉 Controlling oneself when one likes good food is very hard… I know what you feel.

  9. the tart looks amazing! I still haven’t got my hands onto some damsons, i really would love to! it was never heard of while i was growing up,sounds so old english to me 😉 great idea on spreading that layer of damson butter at the bottom, i will try that out with other tarts, i.e. the jam/butter of that fruit as the bottom layer before i add the fruits!

    1. Thanks, Shuhan. I think you can make it with any plum variety really. Let me know if you try this simple modification. I hope it improves you tarts’ taste too.

    1. Thank you, Stefanie. It was my first time with plums and plum butter in a tart, but I will certainly repeat this experience.

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