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Five-Spice Plum Tartlets


In these intense little tartlets, Chinese five-spice infuses ripe plums, and fresh ginger adds a peppery heat. Leave the puff pastry squares untrimmed to create a modern look to these sweet-and-sour tarts.


Five-Spice Plum Tartlets

1-inch (2.5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

3 Tbs. unsalted butter

4 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g) sugar

1 Tbs. all-purpose flour

Pinch of kosher salt

1 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder

4 plums, pitted and cut into 1⁄2-inch (12-mm) cubes

1/2 lime

1/2 sheet frozen puff pastry (about 1/2 lb./250 g), thawed

In a small bowl, stir together the ginger, butter, 3 Tbs. of the sugar, the flour and the salt.
In another bowl, mix together the remaining 1 Tbs. sugar and the five-spice powder. Add the plums, squeeze the juice from the lime half over the plums and toss together.

Place the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle with flour. Roll into a 12-by-8-inch (30-by-20-cm) rectangle about 1⁄8 inch (3 mm) thick. Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise, then cut each half crosswise into thirds; you should have six 4-inch (10-cm) squares. Brush off any excess flour from the dough. Prick the dough squares all over with a fork, then fit the squares into six 3-inch (7.5-cm) tartlet pans, pressing the pastry into the bottom and up the sides.

Spread about 1 1/2 tsp. of the ginger-butter mixture over the bottom of each tartlet, then top with the plums. Refrigerate the tartlets on a baking sheet for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Bake the tartlets on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C) and continue baking until the tartlets are puffed and browned around the edges, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on wire rack, then serve. Serves 6.

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Plum-Almond Cake


A homey cake is a treat any time of year. This simple rendition celebrates September, when farmers’ markets are overflowing with small, dark Italian plums. Halved and nestled in the batter, the plums turn ruby red and jammy as they bake.


Plum-Almond Cake

1/2 cup sunflower or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/2 cup almond meal or almond flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

1 egg

1/2 cup half-and-half or whole milk

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon

1 cup plus 2 Tbs. sugar

1/4 tsp. pure almond extract

9 Italian plums, halved and pitted

1/4 cup sliced almonds

2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Lightly oil an 8-inch springform pan. Dust the pan with flour and tap out the excess.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine the oil, egg, half-and-half, lemon zest, lemon juice, the 1 cup sugar and the almond extract. Whisk to blend thoroughly. Add the oil-egg mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the plum halves, cut side up, on top of the batter. In a bowl, stir together the almonds, the 2 Tbs. sugar and the butter and mix well. Dot the almond topping over the cake.

Bake until the topping is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the ring from the pan and place the cake on a serving platter. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature. Makes one 8-inch cake; serves 8.

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Plum and Lime Crumble


The pronounced flavor of plums makes them a match for bold seasonings, like the fragrant lime zest used in this sweet-tart plum crumble. If you like, try an assortment of plums or even pluots or apriums.


Plum and Lime Crumble

For the crumble topping:

1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./235 g.) all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g.) sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 cup (8 oz./250 g.) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 cup (3 oz./90 g.) rolled oats


3 1/2 lb. (1.75 kg.) red plums, pitted and sliced

Finely grated zest from 2 limes

3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g.) sugar

1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g.) all-purpose flour

Vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)

Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).


To make the topping, in a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the oats and pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl.


In a bowl, stir together the plums, lime zest, sugar and flour. Spread the fruit in a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) baking dish. Using your fingers, press the topping into large clumps and scatter over the fruit. Alternatively, divide the fruit mixture and topping among eight 1/2-cup (4-oz./125-g) ramekins.


Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden and crisp, about 1 hour for the baking dish or 30 minutes for the individual ramekins. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream, if you like. Serves 6 to 8.

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Little Plum Galettes

Plum galettes

Think of these charming desserts as individual rustic fruit pies. Pleating the edge of the crust over the filling give the galettes a pretty appearance. When pleating the dough, work quickly so your fingers don’t melt the butter in the dough, which will produce a tough crust.

Little Plum Galettes

Basic Pie Dough for a double-crust pie, divided into 2 disks

1⁄2 cup (4 oz./125 g) sugar, plus more for sprinkling

2 Tbs. cornstarch

1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1⁄8 tsp. salt

2 lb. (1 kg) plums, pitted and cut into small chunks (about 4 cups)

1 large egg beaten with 1 Tbs. heavy cream


Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.


On a lightly floured surface, roll out both dough disks into 12-inch (30-cm) rounds. Using a 6-inch (15-cm) cardboard circle and a small, sharp knife, cut out 3 or 4 rounds from each dough round. Press the scraps together and reroll to cut out more rounds. You should have a total of 8 rounds.


Place the dough rounds on the prepared baking sheets. Do not trim the edges of the dough.


In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt. Place the plums in a large bowl, sprinkle with the sugar mixture, and toss to coat evenly.


Place about 1⁄2 cup (3 oz./90 g) of the plum mixture in the center of each dough round, leaving a 1-inch (2.5-cm) border all around. Fold the border up and over the filling of each tart, forming loose pleats all around the edges and leaving the centers open. Refrigerate the galettes on the baking sheets until the dough is firm, 15 to 20 minutes.


Meanwhile, place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375°F (190°C). Lightly brush the top crust with the egg mixture (you will not use all of it). Sprinkle the crust with sugar. Bake the galettes until the crusts are golden and the juice around the plums has thickened, about 40 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets on a wire rack for about 15 minutes before serving. Makes 8 galettes.

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Best of the Web: Summer Sendoff


As summer fades into fall, now is the time to savor the last of the season’s best flavors! Here are recipes from some of our favorite blogs that we’ll be cooking before the leaves change and temperatures cool down for good.


Curry Red Pepper & Tomato SoupCurry Red Pepper & Tomato Soup by Will Frolic for Food
Vegan, gluten-free — and full of sweet, rich flavors and warm spices. This is the exact kind of soup we crave between summer and autumn.
Blueberry Crepes with Vanilla Ice CreamBlueberry Crepes with Vanilla Ice Cream by Flourishing Foodie
Crepes are delicious for breakfast or dessert (and this recipe is a good excuse to eat ice cream first thing in the morning). A simple blueberry compote is the perfect way to use up freshly picked blueberries — make a big batch to enjoy for weeks.
Harvest TacosHarvest Tacos by The Year in Food
Combining corn, cauliflower and tomatoes, these tacos highlight the best of September. We’ll be using them as a template throughout fall, substituting winter squash and brussels sprouts.
Roasted Tomato Basil Grilled CheeseRoasted Tomato Basil Grilled Cheese by A Couple Cooks
Often the simplest things are the ones that make us smile. Here, roasted tomatoes and fresh herbs take a classic grilled cheese to next-level bliss.
Spiced Plum BarsSpiced Plum Bars by 5 Second Rule
Keep this recipe on hand for your next potluck or tailgate party; it feeds a crowd easily. And soft, sweet roasted plums with a tender cookie crust are guaranteed to please them all.
Zucchini-Basil Chickpea Waffles with Tomato & Shaved Fennel SaladZucchini-Basil Chickpea Waffles with Tomato & Shaved Fennel Salad by Dolly and Oatmeal
These savory waffles get an extra kick of protein and vegetables from chickpea flour zucchini. Topped with a tomato and shaved fennel salad, they’d be beautiful for a brunch or casual dinner.
Balsamic Eggs with Peaches and ProsciuttoBalsamic Eggs with Peaches and Prosciutto by Turntable Kitchen
This is a summer meal at its finest, relying on the freshest ingredients and a just a light hand. With almost no cooking required, it’s just as satisfying at lunch and dinner as it is for breakfast.
Curried Roasted Eggplant with Smoked Cardamom and Coconut MilkCurried Roasted Eggplant with Smoked Cardamom and Coconut Milk by The Bojon Gourmet
This hearty, spiced stew stars slender eggplants, pungent spices and creamy coconut milk. Serve over rice with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt to make it a meal. (Bonus: it’s best made a day or two ahead.)
Fig & Mascarpone BruschettaFig & Mascarpone Bruschetta by My Little Expat Kitchen
It doesn’t get any simpler than these sweet-savory bites: just ripe figs, creamy mascarpone, salty ham and some crusty bread. Nibble on these while you sip of glass of crisp wine in the evening.
Vanilla Bean Brown Butter Nectarine Blackberry CrispVanilla Bean Brown Butter Nectarine Blackberry Crisp by The Amateur Gourmet
Brown butter and vanilla bean make everything better — especially late-summer fruits. We can practically smell it from here!
Quinoa & Zucchini Stuffed PeppersQuinoa & Zucchini Stuffed Peppers by Naturally Ella
This has all the makings of an weeknight meal: quick, easy and delicious (and vegetarian). Stuff peppers with tomato sauces and whatever grains you have on hand, add a layer of melty cheese, bake, and savor.