An easy, show-stopping puff pastry fruit tart
Need an easy, crowd-pleasing dessert this holiday season? Look no further! My Easy Plum Walnut Tart looks like it takes hours to prepare or that you need to be a master pastry chef to make it. But no, my friend! You can masterfully make this recipe and be the hero of holiday desserts this year!
All hail, puff pastry!!!
The secret to looking like a baking pro is….wait for it….PUFF PASTRY! You can find this flaky, golden-delicious-“Who’s got time to make pastry from scratch” dough in the dessert freezer section at your local grocery store.
It is a life-saver for entertaining, breakfast creations, making a quick pie topper, etc. Plus, it’s practically fool-proof (unless you forget about it in the oven, of course). The key to making this plum walnut tart look professional and enticingly golden is brushing it with egg wash before baking. So, be sure not to skip this important step.
- 1 puff pastry sheet, thawed but still cold*
- 4 ripe plums
- 2 TB walnuts, chopped
- 2 TB sugar
- 1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp water
- Cooking spray
- Flour for rolling out the dough
- Prep the fruit. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the plums in half and remove their pits with a small metal spoon. Slice each half into 6-7 segments. Move the end pieces to the side as they will be used to fill in any gaps. Keep the middle segments together until you are ready to place them on the pastry to create the "X" shape on the tart.
- Prep the dough (see Notes). Line a large baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray. Dust some flour onto the foil. Remove the puff pastry sheet from its packaging and place it on the floured surface. Lightly flour a rolling pin and the surface of the pastry dough. Roll out the dough to extend the edges to about 1/2" further. With a sharp knife, being careful not to cut through the dough, lightly trace along the edges of the dough to create a 1/2" border.
- Create your design. Arrange the middle pieces of the plums into an X-shape. It helps to hold the plum half in your palm and "deal" the slices onto the pastry, like a deck of cards, with the other hand. Fill in the center and remaining gaps using the end pieces, facing them skin side down.
- Dust with cinnamon-sugar. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the tart, avoiding the edges as much as possible.
- Brush on the egg wash. Whisk together the egg and water. Using a pastry/basting brush (or your finger), coat the edges of the dough and any other exposed areas with the egg wash.
- Bake and serve. Bake the pastry at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until it is a deep golden brown. Top with the walnuts. Slice into squares (making 9 pieces) and serve with ice cream!
- Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets
Tips 'n' Tricks
- Thawing process: If your pastry sheet(s) is frozen, you can thaw it in the refrigerator the night before OR allow it to sit at room temperature until just thawed (which takes about 20 minutes or so). If you are pressed for time, follow the package instructions for microwaving the pastry until it is defrosted. DO NOT let your pastry become room temperature or warm or it will not rise properly while baking, leaving it gummy and less flakey in texture.
- Rolling it out: If you do not have enough room on your baking sheet to roll out the dough, simply place the foil around a large cutting board. Fold the sides of the foil under the cutting board to avoid it from slipping around while rolling out the dough. Then transfer it to the baking sheet and proceed to layer on the toppings.
Try to use fruit that is ripe but semi-firm. The riper and softer the fruit, the more juice it will produce while baking. During the last 5 minutes of baking, you can remove the tart from the oven and tilt the tart back and forth to evenly distribute the juices or use a pastry brush to baste the fruit. Return it to the oven to finish baking.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 185Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 68mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g
The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used. I am not a doctor, nor a certified nutritionist and make no claims to the contrary. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. Please consult your personal physician with any questions you may have regarding your own health and diet.
Choose your fruit & nut topping
Another beautiful feature about this recipe is that it can be made with other types of hearty fruit, such as nectarines, peaches, pears and apples (just squeeze lemon on them after slicing to prevent browning). I have been meaning to make one with quince one of these days (stay tuned!). Just slice your fruit evenly and thin enough that it cooks to a tender texture on top of the pastry. When you sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar, it draws out the natural juice of the fruit creating a light glaze while baking. I would not recommend fruits that yield excessive liquid when cooked, such as berries. They could make your dough soggy or prevent it from cooking evenly.
Furthermore, you may also use whatever nut you prefer, or none at all, for that matter. Adding nuts gives the tart more texture and makes it look even more festive. However, you can also dust it with some powdered sugar after it has cooled and right before serving for added effect.
Trust me. You will want to keep this puff pastry dessert recipe in your toolbox for years to come!
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