Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Plum Tarts With Honey And Black Pepper #recipe @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: I can hear you from here. "Plums, with black pepper?” you’re asking, that note of incredulity in your voice.

Yep. Black pepper. You’ll barely taste it or the sea salt, unless you badly overdo them. So why use them? The seasonings pair beautifully to accentuate the tart-sweet flavor of the plums.

About the amount of sugar: The original recipe, which came from Bon Appetit, called for 1/4 cup sugar. Wildly too much! I used about two teaspoons—we like our baked fruit a little on the tart side, and I knew from the bite I’d snitched while cutting the plums that these were a little on the sweeter side. I used Italian prune plums, because that’s what we had. Red plums would also be lovely, as would apricots. If you like your fruit a little sweeter, or your plums are quite tart, you could toss them with the sugar in a bowl until you get the taste just right.

The original recipe also didn’t say anything about rolling out the pastry. Now, I’m no math whiz, but even I know you can’t get 6-4" squares out of a 9X10" sheet of pastry. It’s easy to roll out a bit lengthwise; you won’t need to roll much.

This is a super yummy addition to brunch, though it could also be a dessert. Your choice! Puff pastry is quite easy to work with---don't be daunted! Just remember to let it thaw at room temperature 30-40 minutes before you try to use it.

The Pepperidge Farm puff pastry packages have been coming with a 75 cent coupon in them, so I’ve been buying up the stuff when I spot a decent price. Expect more puff pastry recipes in the next few months!

Plum Tarts With Honey And Black Pepper

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 pound plums, pitted, cut into ½" wedges (If you’re using Italian plums, cut in quarters)
1 tablespoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon honey
Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Preheat oven to 425°. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet.

Roll the thawed pastry into a sheet roughly 9" X 12". Cut in half from the short side, then in thirds along the long side, so you have six squares, roughly 4" X 4". Place the squares on your baking sheet, and prick all over with a fork. Top with plums, leaving a ½" border. Sprinkle with sugar; season with a few grinds of pepper. (I used 3-4 on each tart.)

Bake tarts, rotating pan halfway through, until edges of pastry are puffed and golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Just before serving, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.

Makes 6.

From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. I'll have to trust you on the black pepper. It does sound like an odd addition.

    1. I promise, you won't taste it, but you'll taste its effect on the other ingredients!

  2. I'm going to try these for Thanksgiving! Thank you for sharing.

  3. A nice trick with puff pastry is to cut a 1/4-1/2" border just inside the outside edge. Cut almost through the pastry. As it cooks, this will create a raised edge.