This recipe is based on one of the many unusual and often brilliant biscuit and pudding recipes by by Justin Gellatly, in his book Bread, Cake, Doughnut, Pudding. From experience, the dough can be made in advance and frozen, but the tart itself gets a bit soggy if frozen. The spice mix is awesome, and makes for the most wonderful autumn pudding.
Spiced Pepper Plum Tart
250g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar, plus extra to sprinkle
125g Demerara sugar, plus extra to sprinkle
finely grated zest of an orange (if you have it)
2 free range egg yolks
300g plain flour
2 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground star anise (roughly a small ‘star’)
2 tsp ground black pepper
a pinch of ground cinnamon
a pinch of salt
1 tsp of baking powder
600g plums. I find the dark purple sinned variety work best
Cream together the butter, caster and Demerara sugar and orange zest (if using) until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, flour, spices, salt and baking powder. If using an electric mixer, pulse briefly and then continue mixing by hand. Bring together on a floured surface. At this stage you can freeze the lot for later. Otherwise, divide 2/3rd for the base and 1/3 for the top. Wrap each in clingfilm and put the larger in the fridge and the smaller in the freezer for at least 45 mins.
Take out the large piece and roll it out, line a greased & floured 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin. The original recipe specifies 5-6cm deep, but my experience is that around 2-3cm works much better. Trim the edges. Place the stoned and halved plums on the pastry and sprinkle with 2 tbsp of sugar.
Take the other piece of pastry out of the freezer, using the large holes on a grater, grate this over the plums until they are covered. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tbsp of Demerara sugar and a few grates of black pepper. Then bake until golden brown (around 60mins). Allow to cool for around 30 mins before eating. Good with clotted cream, vanilla ice cream and Greek yoghurt.