The current edition of A la Carte sings the praises of this year’s local peach crop.
At least one orchard, however, received short shrift in our coverage.
Old Stage Farm inadvertently was omitted from the printed story but added to the online version after the weekly food section’s publication. Encountering the farm’s fruit at local growers markets, I was unaware that Old Stage Farm has its own a fruit stand near Jacksonville. Farmer Chris Pellet touts the farm’s apples, nectarines, figs and plums in addition to tree-ripened, never-been-sprayed peaches.
Now that I’m in the know, I’m almost more excited about the prospect of local plums than peaches. These thin-skinned, multihued stone fruits aren’t nearly as widespread on a commercial scale as peaches, which enjoy only a small agricultural niche locally as it is.
One of my all-time favorite fruits, plums are yet another example of produce that fares poorly in transport and almost always lacks flavor when originating from south of our border. This easy recipe from Newsday actually helps remedy mealy, flavorless plums but with ripe, local specimens would be truly a treat.
Plum and Puff Pastry Tart
One sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 small ripe but firm plums, about 10 ounces, pitted and thinly sliced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons apricot jam, well-stirred
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unfold thawed puff pastry sheet on top of paper. Prick all over with a fork. Place in freezer for 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle chilled puff pastry with 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar. Arrange the plums, overlapping them slightly, on top of pastry, leaving a 1 1⁄2-inch border of pastry all around. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar. Brush edges of pastry with the egg.
Bake in preheated oven until crust is golden-brown, for 25 to 30 minutes. If after 15 minutes of baking, air bubbles are forming in pastry, deflate them with a fork or tip of a sharp paring knife. Brush plums with the apricot jam as soon as tart comes out of oven. Let cool completely on baking sheet, slice and serve.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.