When we turned sugar plums and currants into a crumbly tart

I spotted Miren playing in the kitchen floor with the last box of sugar plums we had brought back from New York City. Some nearly turned to mush – they were so ripe. Her white tunic covered in yellow stains, she smiled.

“I think it’s time we bake a tart with these, don’t you think?” I asked. Sometimes nothing beats frustration like baking and über ripe fruit is perfect for dessert.

She immediately shouted, “I want to help, I want to help!”… as she always does.

I love this really crumbly red velvet apricot and hazelnut tart from my book. Tender with a buttery and slightly salty hazelnut crust. I had that recipe on my mind when I worked on this one.

A simple dough that only requires a bowl to mix and your fingers to press the pastry into the tart pan. I reserved part of the dough to use as a crumb topping, which worked very well.

I am a bit obsessed with currants at the moment. So coveted around here – I treat them like gold. Partly because they are hard to come by where we live, but mostly because they add the perfect acidity and contrast to any other baked fruit.

So I froze the last box we brought back from the Union Square market, but saved some to bake pistachio financiers.

… and we shared half of it with friends.

I am happy to report that we are off to Vermont tomorrow to visit Nadia and Romina. I had to bring Jon and Miren once again in the summer after the fun we had last year.

I foresee lots of berry picking and perhaps we will come home loaded with fruit once again. I don’t see why not.

It just doesn’t feel quite like summer without picking your own fruit, does it?>

Be back soon.

Sugar Plum and Currant Crumb Tart

makes a 9-inch tart

Tart dough and crumble

1 cup (140 g) superfine brown rice flour
1/2 cup (100 g) natural cane sugar
1/4 cup (30 g) millet flour
1/4 cup (25 g) almond flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
10 tablespoons (150 g) unsalted butter, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
2 to 3 tablespoons cold whole milk

In a large bowl, whisk together the first five ingredients. Add the butter and work it with your fingers into the flour mixture until it resembles a sand-like dough. Add the milk and stir until it comes together. It will be a soft dough.

Reserve approximately 1/4 cup of the dough in the refrigerator.

Press the dough into the tart mold starting from the bottom and going up the sides. It should be about 1/4-inch thick. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Sugar Plum and currant filling

1 pound (450 g) sugar plums or other small plums, halved and pitted
1 cup (140 g) red and white currants mixed
3 tablespoons natural cane sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon lime juice

Preheat oven to 350F (180C).

Toss all ingredients together in a bowl and let it rest for 5 minutes. If the fruit releases too much juice, discard some of it or the bottom will become soggy. Remove the vanilla bean.

Fill the chilled tart dough with the fruit filling. Crumble the rest of the reserved dough on top of the fruit filling.

Bake the tart for 45 to 50 minutes in the middle of the oven until the crust has a deep golden color.

Let the tart cool completely before cutting. It is very crumbly so cutting it when warm will make it fall apart easily.


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63 Responses to “When we turned sugar plums and currants into a crumbly tart”

  1. ShoeAxis says:

    I will need to try this recipe!

  2. Riley says:

    Ah, sugar plums just make me feel all warm and fuzzy! This looks incredible!

  3. Oh my gosh those photos are incredibly beautiful. I seriously cannot wait for your book! Thanks for sharing this recipe and have a wonderful trip.

  4. kankana says:

    Aww she sounds so adorable .. jumping to help :) The tart looks so pretty and I hope you have fun in your trip :)

  5. a. maren says:

    i’m going to need to buy a lot more currants! i just found a vendor at the farmer’s market, and my first lot is earmarked for ice cream. this is next!

  6. This looks really delicious and I can’t wait to find some currants to cook with, as they are pretty hard to find here (So California) as well. I am an amateur food stylist/photographer in training and just marvel at how light and crisp your images are…

  7. I’ve never baked with currants before. I think I need to try it! This looks so wonderful!

  8. Evitaa says:

    Great & delicious tart! I was thinking about tart yesterday, but finally I turned my currants into jam and buns :)

  9. Dominika says:

    And again – sooo lovely pastel pictures made my morning! Have a nice day!

  10. A fabulous tart! Divine looking.



  11. That has got to be one of the most beautiful tarts ive seen!

  12. Дани says:

    Great and very delicious tart! :)

  13. These photos are amazing! so much light and colour, and the tart looks so delicious!

  14. Thanks everyone. Hope you try it. It’s really simple and any fruit works well! :)

  15. I think I still have plums at home.. I’ll definitely try this tart!! Love the new blog design btw. Clean and simple but so elegant!

  16. MICHAEL says:

    Great summer cake. Thanks

  17. Una maravillosa tarta, acompañada de unas fotos fantásticas. Una delicia!!!

    Un besito,

  18. Pia says:

    Mmmmm, this looks absolutely delicious! Perhaps I’ll have to reconsider my fruit tartlets that I was going to make for a BBQ this Thursday and make something with a crumble instead…

    Oh the choices!

    Happy eats :)

  19. VIRGINIA says:

    Preciosa Aran¡¡¡¡

    Por cierto ¿vienes este año a Bilbao en Agosto?

    ¿Tendremos nuevo programan tuyo con David?

    Me encantaría.

    Una tarta de lo mas sugerente y las fotos como siempre preciosas.


    Virginia “sweet and sour”

  20. Wowwwww that looks delicious! Check out more tart recipes on tiptap.com :)

  21. Eileen says:

    This sounds perfect! I still have a bowlful of plums from our backyard harvest–I guess I know how I can use them now!

  22. sandra says:

    I have been thinking about sugar plums ever since I read you last post about them. I thought, where in the world can you get something as fanciful and fairy-like as that? And now I read that you got them at the same market I buy my fruit and vegetables at. Who knew? I’ll have to keep an eye out for these little beauties.

  23. Beautiful as always. You have a way of making currants appear jewel-like in so many different foods, different settings. I love the entire post, but especially the photo of the raspberries. Rasberries are my favorite fruit; I can never get enough of the wild ones that grow around our property in New Hampshire. Your photo shows them in a simple way that lets their natural color sparkle. Bravo!

  24. Iratxe says:

    Pues cuando esto pasa, el resultado sólo puede ser una explosión de sabores y texturas… THANKS AGAIN, ¡DELICIOSO!. Buen viaje. Muxuak.

  25. Divine and decadent! What a beautiful tart :)

  26. Oh! That sounds amazing. Must get your book.

  27. Your post is very beautiful, I like it very much! Thabk you for sharing!

  28. Amazing, sounds yummy!!! I think it could work with any other fruits too.

  29. Pola M says:

    What a wonderful cake! Looks delicious!

  30. Jaime says:

    Beautiful tart and gorgeous photos!! I’ve recently decided to give gluten-free a try…first attempt this weekend, feeling very excited to see how it all turns out. I have red currants in the fridge so might just give this recipe a go :-)

  31. Hi Aran, Your blog is so inspiring and uplifting! I know what you mean about being obsessed with currants. They are a must have where I am from in Transylvania, Romania. My 92 year-old great-grandmother makes us pick currants every summer from her own backyard to then turn them into jam. Your tart looks incredible! I also love plums…and I’ve been baking a lot with them, lately. Your tart is up next! :)

  32. petitbea says:

    Hello, I’m new to blogging and love reading your blog and your beautiful images of your work =]
    I was just wondering, I love your spoon in the last picture, where is it from may I ask?


  33. Oh, so beautiful. Too pretty to eat, surely!

  34. Oh, so beautiful. Too pretty to eat, surely!

  35. So beautiful! The tart looks amazing! I love currants!

  36. Mmmmh It looks delicious ! I need to try this recipe !

  37. I don’t know what I like better – photos or the recipe. definitely a perfect summer treat! :)

  38. Virginia- de momento no tengo planes para ir a Bilbao este verano. Estuvimos en abril. Eskerrik asko!

    Dena- we were in VT this weekend and even found a new variety of raspberries (new to me)… The brandy wine raspberries. Delicious.

    Thanks all!

  39. andreja says:

    Very nice pictures. I like your style.

  40. Jaime says:

    I made this yesterday with red currants and plums! Had to use superfine white rice flour as I couldn’t find the brown version, but I love the taste and texture of the shell. The fruits on top were slightly burnt, my oven got too hot I reckon. The plums were a bit on the sour side so I might add more sugar next time. Can I use agave nectar or maple syrup? Would that be too much liquid? Thanks Aran!

  41. Jaime- glad you liked it! Yes, you can sweetened the fruit with maple syrup or agave but then you might have to add a bit more cornstarch. It all depends on the sweetness and moisture of the fruit really. You can adjust accordingly.

    Thank you!

  42. Jaime says:

    Ah noted, thanks Aran! I’m meaning to try it again with a whole array of fruits :-)

  43. Anis says:

    Aran, I am intrigued by the pistachio financiers is it a recipe from your book? Pretty please!

  44. Anis- yes the pistachio financiers recipe is from my book although in the book is made with raspberries and not currants.

    Thank you!

  45. so looking forward to trying this…looks absolutely delicious…and what pretty photos… xv

  46. Anaise says:

    After a childhood of hearing stories about sugar plum fairies, I always think of them more like characters than fruit. (But would still gleefully eat them in a tart, of course.)

  47. Anaise- sugar plum fairies!! I will have to red about them. I can imagine its a great story to tell kids. Thanks!

  48. Carole says:

    Lovely currant dish. Berries and currants are this week’s subject for Food on Friday. Would you be happy to link this in? We are looking to create a fantastic collection of berry dishes. This is the link .

  49. Eeeeeeeeeh your a clever lass with that camera…getting better n better girl.
    Im selling my canon gear and going to Nikon….had enough of soft out of focus photography.

  50. Alan- I think the soft out of focus has nothing to do with whether you are shooting or Nikon. It’s about how you use it and the settings. You can achieve a soft look or sharp look with either maker. Let us know how you like Nikon!

  51. MrTed says:

    Hi Aran, I’ve just come across your blog, its really beautiful.
    I’m based in the UK and want to try your pastry but can’t find Superfine Brown Rice Flour. Will regular brown rice flour do the trick or buckwheat perhaps?
    Many thanks indeed

  52. Mr Ted- you could use brown rice flour. The texture will be grainier and crumblier but it should work. thanks!

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  55. Julia says:

    Hi Aran,
    Since I’m not gluten intolerant, can I just replace all the different flours with wheat flour, same quantity?

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