A delicious Plum Tart (and a rather less delicious rant about house rentals)

I am in the middle of trying to rent a house. It is in London, and me and four friends are amidst negotiations with the landlord. It just is not going well. I mean, who knew that there was so much involved in renting a house? Also we are running out of time- uni starts again in a month (eek) and we are still technically homeless.

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We have made slight progress- I mean, there is a house we want. Sort of. It is not ideal but it is a house, with a roof (although, admittedly, it probably leaks.) It has five (albeit small) bedrooms and a kitchen, which, with a little imagination, could be very homely.

There is just so much to think about! We are battling with the landlord about everything from admin fees to the fine print of the lease, licenses to deposits. It’s just impossible to know if we are doing the right thing- and not being completely ripped off!

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I just know how people can handle these things without the help of some very loving and patient parents!

Luckily, not all things in life are as complex or stressful as renting a house.

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Like this tart.

With only four ingredients, it really is the simplest thing in the world.

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Plum Tart (I picked these plums from my garden, but if you don’t have a complete over abundance of fruit trees in your garden and more plums than you know what to do with, bought ones will be just as good!)

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for the pastry:

300g plain flour

150g butter

75g sugar

4 tablespoons cold water

for the filling:

about 20 plums- halved and with the stones removed

5 tablespoons of caster sugar

Using your hands, or a food processor if you prefer, rub the butter into the flour until it forms a sort of bread crumby or sandy texture. Add the sugar and keep working. Add a small amount of the water and mix it in, first with a wooden spoon and then with your hands, until it forms together into a ball. Add the water slowly- you can always add more if it is too dry, but working with a really wet dough is horrible!

Once it has formed into a ball, wrap it in cling film and leave it to rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.

While the dough is resting, prepare the plums. Cut them in half, and sprinkle the sugar over them. Mix it in well, so they all have an equal coating of sugar.

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Once the dough is rested, roll it out on a lightly floured surface, and place it in a pie dish. Pour in the plums.

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Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for about 30-40 minutes or until the plums have softened and the pastry is a golden brown colour. (I find its best not to bake this tart blind, as the pastry cooks well enough in the time it takes for the plums to adequately soften, and the base is never too soggy and runny- but if you think it is best, then by all means, do it!)

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And if you, like me, still have more plums left over- they are also great in jam!

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xxR

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