Yesterday I returned from the market with far too many plums. Although it was tempting to just throw them in the oven with some spices until they turned into a juicy compote (which would have made breakfast this morning infinitely more exciting), I had a free afternoon ahead of me, so something slightly more complex seemed apt.
I curled myself up in one of our giant armchairs with a cup of tea and a huge pile of cookbooks. After bookmarking many, many plum recipes, I eventually settled on Justin Gellatly's Spiced Pepper Plum Tart. It sounded bizarre, and therefore intriguing. In a good way.
The pastry of the tart is filled with black pepper, cinnamon, allspice and orange zest: it smells almost Christmas-y when it's baking in the oven. Who doesn't want an apartment that smells of Christmas cooking on the first day of Fall?
Plums are placed on top of the pastry base and then more of the pastry is grated over the top and sprinkled with Demerara sugar to give it golden, crunchy lid. The spicing blends in with the juicy plums, and with a splash of rich, thick cream drizzled over the top, I can't think off a better way of using up these beautiful September fruits.
Justin's recipe for Spiced Pepper Plum Tart can be found in his brilliant book, Bread, Cake, Doughnut, Pudding.