Damson Plum Jam and Chocolate Tart

prunechocotarteppI crave chocolate all year long, so even though it’s springtime and I start dreaming about light fruit desserts, I still make sure I have some dark chocolate in case I feel an urgent need bake something with it. I also adore tart desserts, so when I saw Stevie Parle’s damson and chocolate tart on the Telegraph website, I thought it was a perfect combination of both. Moreover, this tart reminded me of one of Prunes in Chocolate, my favourite quick chocolate snack.

I decided to make this tart several days ago when I realised  that even though I offer jars regularly to my friends and family, I have almost no free space for this year’s preserves. My favourite jam is thick damson plum jam  (damsons are oval violet plums with a tangy skin and yellow flesh) called “butter” and slowly cooked without sugar addition. (I have posted the Damson Plum Butter recipe here). Thanks to its tanginess and deep, slightly smoky flavour, damson plum jam is excellent with both savoury and sweet dishes and, as I have recently realised, also with dark chocolate.

Instead of following S. Parle’s complicated recipe, I have made my foolproof shortcrust pastry and filled the tart with a modified version of Joël Robuchon’s chocolate tart filling (found in Le Meilleur et le plus simple de Robuchon). For me this easy, rich, tangy and intensely chocolatey tart was an amazing discovery, but I would advise it only for those who  are big fans of bitter chocolate and who prefer moderately sweet desserts.

TIPS: This tart is an excellent way to use up an opened jam jar (or last year’s preserves). Any thick jam will be good in this recipe, but in my opinion sour cherry, strawberry, raspberry or apricot jam would be the best.

I strongly advise home-made shortcrust. Its thin, buttery, crunchy layer cannot be substituted with any ready-to-use crust. However if you use a bought one (about 230-240 g), make sure it’s rolled out very thinly and that it’s made only with butter.

Special equipment:

beans for blind baking (I have been using the same real dried cheap beans for several years now)

Preparation: 2 hours

Ingredients (makes a 28 cm diameter tart):

Shortcrust (or 230-240 g of ready-to-use thin, 100% butter shortcrust pastry sheet): 

125g flour

90 g softened butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons caster sugar


300 ml tart thick jam

200 g dark good quality chocolate (more than 72% cocoa)

250 ml liquid cream

1 big egg

Prepare the shortcrust.

Mix the butter, the salt and the caster sugar in a food processor. When these ingredients are mixed thoroughly, add the flour and mix again.

Stop when you see a big ball is being formed.

(You may also knead the pastry without the food processor, but then you have to do this very quickly, maximum 5 minutes, pushing with the heel of your hand and minimising the use of your fingers, otherwise the tart will be too crumbly.)

Wrap the dough in a cling film and put into the fridge for at least 30 minutes (you can leave it there up to 48 hours).

Take it out of the fridge and let it soften a bit before  using it.

Roll it thinly with a rolling pin (I would advise 3 mm) and line a greased tart dish or spread it with your fingers without rolling if you find the rolling process difficult.

Put back into the fridge for about 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 150°C.

Take out the tart dish from the fridge.

Cover the flat surface with a baking sheet and put some dried beans on it. This way the pastry will not rise.

Precook the tart shell until it’s no longer raw, but still white (it will take 10-15 minutes).

In the meantime prepare the chocolate filling.

Break the chocolate into small pieces.

Bring the cream to boil and pour over the chocolate, stirring quickly until the chocolate melts and forms a homogenous ganache.

When it cools down and is no longer hot, add the egg.

Take the blind-baked shortcrust out of the oven, put the beans back into their jar and let the tart shell cool a bit.

Cover the tart shell with a generous layer of thick jam and then pour the chocolate filling on top.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes until the chocolate filling is set.






43 Replies to “Damson Plum Jam and Chocolate Tart”

  1. OMG!!! Craving chocolate? Keeping dark chocolate on hand?? I have no idea what that must be like…………..hahahaaaaaaaaaaa!! :). Sissi, your prunes in chocolate (which I made and brought along on our holiday) are already a huge hit in this house – I can only imagine what this gorgeous plum jam infused tart would do to us…. I think I might have to confirm it though when we return home ;-). Love the sounds of the crust…

    1. Kelly, I am so proud and flattered that my prunes in chocolate travel as far as Québec mountains! Thank you for your compliments. I’m just making my first weekend drink, so I’ll drink it to your good health 🙂 Have lovely holidays!

  2. that looks freaking amazing sissi! I love how the tart turned out looking almost ebony-black! I will have to give your shorcrust pastry a go, my shortcrust (and most others I see) always call for cold butter , using softened butterand having no added liquid, is a first for me, but it seems so much simpler and still just as good!

    1. Thank you so much, Shuhan. I also liked the result of this experiment. There is only one chocolate I use which turns almost black (I used it here): Lindt 72% special for baking (a big 200g bar), so if you ever see it, buy it. All the other chocolate brands are lighter in colour.
      I suppose maybe the butter doesn’t have to be cold because afterwards it’s chilled in the fridge… You know, between us, I sometimes even don’t chill it and spread it warm with my fingers instead of rolling out. It is crumblier, but the taste is equally buttery and great. I think most French recipes don’t call for any liquid in tart crust.

      1. I do like crumbly tarts, though they are harder to work with I guess! ok definitely goign to give the pastry a try now. thanks for the tip about the chocolate!

        1. Yes, they are sometimes difficult to roll out thinly, but then I spread them with my fingers. Good luck!

  3. I love the idea of jam as the base of a tart — it must add such a nice contrast of flavours. I find that tarts always look like you’ve gone to a lot of effort as they look so beautiful on a plate — and this is definitely true of your tart Sissi. Your friends must just love that you make them jam regularly — there is something so comforting about our friendships where we share the things we make. I guess it reminds me of my childhood when my mom and her friends used to share their preserves and baking.

    1. Thank you so much, Barb, for the compliments. I assure you there wasn’t much effort! The chocolate filling was easy, the jam… well I had to spread it and the crust is quite easy.
      I must say it’s a big pleasure to offer something I have made and I wouldn’t give my preserves to everyone I know. Only those I like a lot. Actually I offer savoury preserves most of the time (hot sauces, pickles, hot jellies…) because most of my jars are savoury. Luckily every friend has different preferences, otherwise it would be a bit difficult 😉

  4. That looks rich and decadent. I had been craving dark choc or dark choc desserts this week but never had any. Looking at this photo is nice but thats not enough:) I think/I hope I will make something similar this weekend

    1. Thank you so much, Mr. Three-Cookies. The combination of this tart thick jam with dark chocolate was really fantastic. I hope you try it (I have noticed you like very dark, deeply flavoured chocolate desserts 🙂 ).

    1. Thank you so much, Karen. Your compliment means a lot to me 🙂 I remember you telling me about the shop and the prunes too! I am also sure you would like this tart if you liked prunes in chocolate.

  5. Sissi, this pie looks yummy, and I assume with the dark chocolate and plum combination, this dessert not only has dimensions of flavor, but it’s also full of anti-oxidants!

    Hope you have a great weekend, I’ve enjoyed a great week with my little girl (Spring Break), just came back from IKEA and we are setting up a proper recycle/compose station. very exciting!

    1. Thank you so much, Jeno. I haven’t thought about the anti-oxidants 😉
      I can only imagine the fun you have had at IKEA! I always somehow find many absolutely necessary gadgets there 😉
      Have you bought it to install in the garden or in the house?

      1. The recycle station is now underneath my kitchen counter, I had a real hard time trying to screw the bins in, so they ended up being double side taped, we’ll see how long they will last!

        1. I thought you meant a container to put vegetable remains and create compost… So no worms in your kitchen drawer? 😉

  6. Well, Mr 3 Cookies and you have done it again (sort of) … both have posted a chocolate tart, perhaps not on the same day but close enough. 🙂
    And both tarts have me drooling. I have some spiced chocolate banana jam and wondering what I should do with it besides the usual. This seems like a good idea …. now to get off my lazy butt 🙂
    PS: Damsons are quite rare here even in the imported sections at the stores. Maybe I can find some ready bottled jams.

    1. Thank you, Ping (I have just seen the other tart). Chocolate banana jam sounds terrific!
      I think you could make such a tart with any tart fruit jam. Not only damson plums.

  7. Sissi, your dark chocolate tart looks so sexy! I love the photo too, with the dark background. 😉 I crave for chocolate ALL THE TIME but never had chocolate tart in my life. You might raise your eye brow. =P I know I should try one day. You know when you are not a baker, things you can eat is sort of limited because you have to find the best chocolate tart first…not everything looks delicious you know. I wish I have your piece! Also the jam sounds fantastic. I bet it’s a great match together with the dark chocolate. Thanks for making me drool!

    1. Thank you, Nami, for all the compliments. You should try making a chocolate tart. It’s one of the easiest sweet tarts.

    1. Thank you, Charlie. I also like the very dark Lindt chocolate I have discovered. It makes almost black chocolate cakes and tarts.

  8. Oh my God…… I feel this tart is like the sun – I dare not stare directly at it for too long! lol 😀 But seriously… it must be one of the richest, darkest chocolate tarts I have ever seen. I think a good chocolate tart is one of the best, and in my mind also “purest” desserts imaginable. When you have the perfect combination of a good pastry, and a perfect filling you get something almost magical – I know what you mean about having to keep chocolate on hand – though usually it doesn’t last long enough to be made into a dessert :p I have to try this soon – I just know that I would love it… thanks for sharing it Sissi – it looks fantastic 🙂

    1. Thank you for so many compliments, Charles! It is very very dark indeed, thanks to the only chocolate on the market that creates this almost black effect (Lindt 70% cocoa, 200g bar, special for cooking; strangely I have only seen it in France, never here!). Of course my damson butter is almost black too.
      I always keep some dark chocolate for cooking and snacking, it is always dark, always at least 70% cocoa and just one bit of it is usually satisfying enough to stop me from devouring biscuits or other sweets. Of course, unless I crave a chocolate cake or tart…

  9. Plums with rich dark chocolate… oh my! Have you ever tasted lúdláb Sissi? It is a Hungarian cake based on plums and chocolate. But I think in this case the flaky pastry adds yet another dimension. I am drooling I simply have to have some chocolate. I must have some chocolate somewhere in this house…

    1. Thank you so much, Zsuzsa. I have never tasted lúdláb, but I will check what it is and maybe make it. It sounds very appetising. Actually it is not flaky, but crumbly pastry (shortcrust not puff pastry), but the crunchy element is perfect here.

    2. I have been looking for some lúdláb recipe, but they all have cherries and I cannot find the one with plums. The all look however fantastic! My favourite are those with 80% cream and 20% or less cake base 😉 Thank you for the idea, I will not forget it!

  10. Sissi don’t laugh at me! That is because lúdláb is made with sour cherries and not with plums. It must have been that enormous chocolate craving I got after I saw your delicious tart! In truth, I haven’t had the pleasure for forty years and for some reason I remembered it with plums. After my comment last night, I checked my recipe books and realized that the recipe called for sour cherries. Aha, that is why I never made it! I don’t have a sour cherry tree and I have never seen sour cherries in the stores either. I think I will try to look for them a little harder when my own cherry tree is in production. The weekly farmer’s market may have some. Having a big garden, I never go down, only driven by. Then you are correct Sissi, maybe with sweet cherries or with plums… I may have a few experiments developing. If my memory is not totally bunk, I recall it was mostly cream and very little cake. The fruit is a surprise; there is not much of it in the cake. Very rich and chocolaty, probably something you want to make for a larger group of people. My family used to get only a couple of slices from the bakery among the large assortment of cakes on very special occasions.

    1. Zsuzsa, I thought you had your own personal plum version 😉 I think it’s always possible to replace cherries with plums though.
      I cannot buy sour cherries here either (and I love them so much!), only the small, early very sour cherries which are not the same. The best find was frozen sour cherries from Serbia I can buy in the supermarket for restaurant owners. They almost taste like real sour cherries. I buy one kilo and usually finish half of it alone the first day in a kind of super quick dessert.
      I really must make this cake! It sounds extraordinary.

  11. I can taste it by reading only – yummy! One of my favorite chocolate bonbons from an artisan chocolatier in Erfurt is made of very dark chocolate and damson. In the middle of the bonbon (or better truffes au chocolat) a damson is placed with just a small pieces of gold dust on top. I think they also put damson in the ganache (jam and liquor).

    1. Thank you so much, Kiki. I also love prunes in chocolate (I even make them often, though they are not as good as the ones you describe: just prunes coated in chocolate http://www.withaglass.com/?p=3050). The gold dust sounds amazing and damson jam in ganache is something that gives me ideas…

  12. Dear Sissi,

    I shall remember your fool-proof shortcrust pastry recipe because I am still not confident enough to make it myself. And anything with Joel Robuchon’s name on it makes me think of pure heavenly indulgence.

    1. I’m happy to learn you know and appreciate Joël Robuchon! This shortcrust recipe is not exactly his, but rather my own modification of different pastry recipes I had tried. The only problem for me is sometimes rolling out, but then I let it stay at room temperature and simply spread it with my fingers. In some sweet tarts this easy home-made pastry makes a huge difference.

Comments are closed.