When I look back at the past few weeks, all that comes to mind is a blurry jump-cut montage of work, sleep, and cramming food into my face. While I am excited the Winter frost is starting to melt and everything around me is free to move at an energized pace, I can’t help but feel like my life has been rushing itself along and I’m running just to catch up with it. I’ve already been working at my new job for over a month; my birthday came and went and I barely batted a single blink; and I haven’t set foot in my kitchen and cooked a meal in weeks.
And then I stumbled upon a quote, Instagram’d on Facebook: Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life (thanks Dolly Parton- you terrify me, but you’re right). I love what I do, but I should be doing what I love while I still have the freedom and energy to do so. I’ve never acted my own age and I get so wrapped up in achieving post-collegiate stability that I often forget to enjoy my young-adulthood. So this is a reminder for you all as much as it is for myself: carpe diem.
So how does this twenty-something seize the day? He goes to Whole Foods and buys another unlabeled ingredient. This time around, I picked up these lemon plums, a rare Chilean fruit that is only available between February and March. The amber colored flesh drips with sweetness while the flavor offers obvious notes of plum with lemon peel (clearly, whoever named this fruit was pretty spot on).
I’ve been meaning to make a clafoutis, but I’ve also been trying to perfect my rosemary-cornmeal shortbread cookies since I started dating MVB. What better way to kill several birds with one stone than to make a Lemon Plum Clafoutis Tart. Imagine that for a moment: sweet-tart lemon plums suspended in a mascarpone custard infused with bay leaves and vanilla, all contained in a crumbling, buttery rosemary’d crust. Want it? Make it. Have a piece. Have it all. YOLO.
Lemon Plum Clafoutis Tart
Makes one 14×4.5 inch rectangular tart or 9-inch round tart
- 1 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal (not stone-ground)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 6 tablespoons (1/3 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons ice water
- 3 lemon plums, cut into wedges
- 1/8 cup milk
- 2 fresh bay leaves (1 dried)
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup mascarpone
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 eggs
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons pistachios, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 400°F. Sift together flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and whisk in rosemary. Toss butter in dry ingredients and, using your fingertips, work butter into flour until it becomes mealy and has pea-sized pieces of flour-coated butter. Add water and toss mixture. Gently squeeze a small handful of the mixture. Mixture should become a solid piece. If it doesn’t hold together, add an additional tablespoon of water. Transfer dough to tart tray with a removable bottom. Press dough into mold from the center outward into the sides to form crust. Bake crust until edges are golden, 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool.
Raise oven to 425°. In a small sauce pot over medium low heat, add milk, bay leaves, sugar, salt and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and allow to steep, about 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and transfer milk to blender/food processor.
Add vanilla extract, eggs, and mascarpone to the blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer wet ingredients to a large bowl. Add flour and whisk until just combined with some small lumps. Pour enough batter to come halfway up the crust’s sides. Arrange plum wedges in a decorative fashion on top of batter. Bake for 30 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test and a golden brown crust has formed. Drizzle honey and dust with finely chopped pistachios and/or powdered sugar. Cut into wedges and serve warm or cool. Don’t matter.