The beautiful hue of the plums is one of the many allures of a freshly baked plum tart. The key ingredient in a plum tart admittedly are the plums, so the freshest and ripest need to be chosen. This is not always the easiest feat to accomplish. The suggested way is to purchase more plums than will be needed, and then once they are washed and sliced, sample pieces of each before making a choice on which to use. As well as perfect plums, achieving a light, flaky pastry shell is key to the success of a plum tart.
The secret to the pastry shell for the plum tart is to have one that is both buttery and crisp. It is even advisable to make the dough for the pastry up to a day in advance. Additionally, many novice bakers find that this eases the stress somewhat.
If it is not possible to make the pastry dough in advance, always allow the dough for the crust to rest in the refrigerator for a minimum of an hour after making and before using. Shape the dough into a ball and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Covering it with plastic wrap will ensure that no air gets to the dough and that it does not become dried out.
Evenly slice the plums for the tart. Although it is more common for a tart to feature a distinctive design, the fruit can be splayed in a concentric pattern or strewn without thought as to its design. How the fruit is placed is simply up to the person making the plum tart.
Once the plums have been laid out in the pre-cooked pastry shell, stroke egg whites thinly over the plums once they are laid out on top of the pre-baked pastry shell with a baking brush. This will help create a glaze on the plums and ensure a more even baking process. This will help the plums to color evenly as they bake.
To avoid having to do a major oven cleaning, set a tray under where the plum tart will be placed in the oven following the baking of the pastry shell. Often ripe plums will lose quite a bit of juice during the baking process. Keep in mind that the liner tray should not be placed in the oven during the time the pastry shell is cooking. Otherwise it will tend not to cook as quickly as it should. An evenly cooked plum tart is a beauty to behold.