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No offense to chocolate, but as soon as spring gets here we flip the switch from chocolate desserts to fruit desserts and don’t look back until pumpkin spice season is over. And if Ina Garten’s best spring and summer recipes are anything to go by, it seems like the Barefoot Contessa agrees with our ethos. She’s been posting all sorts of deliciously fruity baked goods, from her blueberry ricotta breakfast cake to her strawberry-filled Eton mess. But there’s one summer stone fruit in particular we’re glad Garten just shared a recipe for — plums, which for some reason seem to take the back seat to peaches, nectarines, and other stone fruit, even though they totally deserve their place in the spotlight, too.
Garten’s Italian Plum Tart recipe is honestly extremely easy to make. It features a buttery press-in crust, which is essential for warm-weather baking; there’s nothing worse than trying to roll out pastry dough when it’s hot in the kitchen. Even better? You use the same dough for both the tart crust and the crumble topping, which saves on dirty dishes.
But the star of the recipe is the plums. Garten calls for Italian prune plums, but if you can’t find those, you can really use any plum you like. You could even use re-hydrated prunes if you want a deeper, jammier fruit flavor.
Garten enhances the flavor of her plums with creme de cassis, a blackcurrant liqueur that tastes like dark, rich berries. A dash of cinnamon is the only other flavor added, though we really think this could be a chance for the Barefoot Contessa to pull out her favorite Nielsen-Massey vanilla. The flavor combination of plum and vanilla is just to die for, and we wouldn’t say no to a bit of lemon zest, either. Basically, because the recipe is so reliable and easy to follow, it’s also a great blank canvas for all of your favorite summer flavors.
The end result is a tart with a golden and buttery crust, a moist and flavorful crumb topping, and a jammy, fruity plum filling. Serve it with vanilla ice cream for dessert, or with espresso for breakfast, and you’ll never pass by the plum stand at the farmer’s market again.
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