Crust: In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process
until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse
meal. Pour 1/8 cup (30 ml) water in a slow, steady stream
through the feed tube until the pastry just holds together when pinched. Add
remaining water, if necessary. Turn the pastry out onto your
work surface, gather it into a ball,
cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour to
chill the butter and allow the gluten in the flour to relax.
Once the pastry has
chilled sufficiently, remove from refrigerator and place on a lightly floured
surface. Roll out the pastry to fit into a 9 inch (23 cm) tart pan. To
prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness,
keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll
from the center of the pastry outwards to get uniform thickness). To make sure
it is the right size, take your tart pan, flip it over, and place it on the
rolled out pastry. The pastry should be about an inch larger than your pan. When the pastry is rolled to
the desired size, lightly roll the pastry around your
rolling pin, dusting off any excess flour as you roll. Unroll onto the top of
your tart pan and gently press the pastry into the pan. Never pull the pastry or you will get shrinkage (shrinkage is caused by too
much pulling of the pastry when placing it in the pan). Roll
your rolling pin over top of pan to get rid of excess pastry. Cover and place in the freezer until firm, several
hours or even overnight.
oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.
Plum Filling: With
a sharp knife, cut the plums in half by following the natural crease in the
plum's skin. Then, holding one half of the plum, gently twist the other half.
The plum should easily fall into two halves so the pit can be removed. then cut
each half into halves or thirds. Place the cut plums in a large bowl and gently toss with
the sugar and pinch of salt.
Remove the tart shell from the freezer and
quickly place the plums, cut side up, in neat concentric circles in the frozen
tart shell. Crowd the fruit, but do not overlap. Scrape any remaining sugar from
the bowl and sprinkle over the plums. Bake the tart until the crust is golden
brown and the fruit has sunken into itself, about 40-50 minutes.
Serves about 6 people.