Thursday, August 21, 2014

Plum Tartlets (Back in the Day Bakery)

It was a beautiful winter afternoon when I baked these... 

plum tartlet Back in the Day Bakery
Plum Tartlets

I was baking these lovely plum tartlets for our bake-along with Joyce from Kitchen Flavours, Lena from Frozen wings.

Plum tartlets? I don't deny asking myself this question when I baked these. At first glance, I reckon that these tarts made with the recipe from the book, Back in the Day Bakery or here do look more like cakes to me!

Apart from their looks, I think it is fair that they should be named as tarts as they do taste more like tarts than cakes to me.

To be specific, they are actually cake-like tartlets with outer rims of pastry-like texture with their insides being simply buttery and sandy. As they are neither spongy nor fluffy, I can appreciate and understand the reason why these can't be fully classified as cakes.

Buttery? Yup! I do have issue with the amount of butter used in this recipe. Originally, the recipe suggests 250g of butter to bake six tarts, resulting per tart containing 40g of butter!!! Being a health freak, I obviously don't like this idea! To fix my issue, I have baked my tartlets even smaller... Using half amount of the recipe, I have managed to bake six tartlets, resulting per tart containing 20g of butter! Now, that's slightly better!

Besides my butter issue with this recipe, I have also asked myself another question... Where can I buy fresh plums during winter? Sort of impossible. For those who are living in countries with seasons, I'm sure that you will understand what I mean as buying and consuming any fresh food that are not seasonal is definitely NOT a cost effective thing to do. For this reason and based on past experiences, I have learned to preserve various stone fruits with lemon juice and small amount of sugar and stored them in our freezer after our summer, just like I always do for our home grown nectarines. Now, we can enjoy summer fruits throughout the year!

No worries, now! This is how I baked these plum tartlets using frozen plum and less butter...

The addition of lemon, cardamom and vanilla make the mixture very fragrant!
See this... I have to agree that mixing this is like mixing a cake batter.
However, the mixture looks more doughy at this stage.
Due to winter, I have to use frozen plums to bake these tarts.
Assembling the tarts
I reckon my tartlets look very much smaller than the ones in the books.
Mine are not less prettier!
... and taste equally good with lesser portion of butter! :p

Here's the recipe that is mostly adapted from the book, Back in the Day Bakery or here

Makes 6 small tarts

150g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg yolks
40g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla paste (or extract)
lemon zest from 1 lemon
2 plums, pitted and sliced (fresh or frozen)
2 tbsp brown sugar
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 160°C fan forced. Lightly butter 6 cups of a muffin tray and line each base with a circle of baking paper.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 mins. Add the egg yolks, granulated sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to beat until the mixture is light in color. In a separate mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt.

Reduce the speed to low and add sifted flour mixture in thirds, mixing just until incorporated; be careful not to overmix.

Divide the dough evenly among muffin cups. Place plum slices in each cup, lightly pressing the slices into the dough with your fingers. Sprinkle the tops with brown sugar.

Bake for 25 mins, until the tartlets look set and the tops are bubbly and caramelized to a golden brown. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

These are best served warm, but they can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Happy Baking
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Please note that the linky tool for bake-along is no longer available.


  1. Hi Zoe, I love plum and these tartlets looks so pretty. Going to get some plums soon.

  2. Hi Zoe,
    Using less butter or the original amount, both results in crumbly crumbs! So I should use less butter too! :)
    Lena's is more to tart texture with soft crumbly crumbs, yours is cake-like and mine is similar to eating a cake version of shortbread. Regardless the different views, all three are buttery with sandy crumbly crumbs. Interesting bake!

  3. wow ZOe,yeaterday chocolate,today,plums and these plums are my favorite and yours looks like an art dear.keep rocking

  4. The plums which I bought before are mostly sour in taste. I guess adding in plums will be a nice contrast to the sweetness of this pastry.

  5. Hi Zoe, these buttery plum tartlets are pretty. I hope to bake them too!

  6. I like the idea of using less butter, many times I get intimidated with recipes that contain too much butter...
    The plum tartlet looks pretty and I like the caramelized plum.
    Hope you are having a wonderful week Zoe :D

  7. Clever of you to halve t recipe to reduce t butter.. Looks fantastic

  8. Hi Zoe! Though I love butter, I'll have to agree with you that 250g butter for 6 tarts is too much. They do look delicious and I love the colour of the plums. The do freeze well.

  9. Great idea making them in small mould. Yummy!

  10. aiyoh! so high class.. ok.. i know i sound seriously un-glam with that opening statement.. but i was so aw-ing when i saw your pictures... it's really pretty!

  11. yes, really pretty tartlets fill with plums!

  12. Perfect, Zoe! I make plum muffins often so this is right up my alley! I'd love to try these as they look so incredibly delicious! I bet they'd be really good with custard, too! Yum, Yum!

  13. Whoa...these look so pretty! Heavenly stuff. I hope to try these one day! ^.^

  14. Zoe! These tartlets are absolutely gorgeous! I loooove plums and can't wait to give these a try!

  15. I like baking with plums and other sour things like rhubarb. Gives that nice sour flavor to balance the sweetness :)

  16. Those plums tartlets are alluring.

  17. The title is cute enough - tartlets.. They look so cute to be eaten.. 250g for 6 tarts? That's a whole block of butter wor.. You so clever la, know how to make modifications to reduce the butter, hehe..

  18. less butter in each tart now?...kind of wonder you always look so slim :)))) btw, over here at our place, we can get plums almost all year round :D

  19. oh wow!! would love one of these with a nice cup of tea

  20. Tempting and absolutely delicious looking tartlets...SO nice

  21. Hi Zoe,
    Love these dainty little tartlets. They look like they are from the cosy little café from Melbourne :p
    I want to bake along with the 3 pretty ladies from BA too ;)


  22. Bellissima idea monoporzione!!!! Complimenti sei sempre bravissima

  23. Z, that first pic looks dreamy. And the last one - love the texture of these li'l sweeties.
    Thanks for providing the Rx. I HAVE to try these.
    Hope you have a fun w/end in the works. xo

  24. What lovely plum tartlets you have baked....saw it at Grace's blog too!

  25. Oooo plums in a tart! Absolutely tempting! Love it love it!

  26. Yours look very lovely;D I baked these too, with your adaptations. Thank you.

  27. I really love baking woth plum. It tasted so good after baked, juicy & yummmy.

  28. Hi Zoe, I made these tartlets for bake along but couldn't blog in time... I finally blogged about them! These tartlets are super delicious!