for the love of pie: nicole franzen & camille becerra
I spent a few weeks in Italy recently.
It was, as I imagined it would be, glorious.
Really and truly.
I ate some of the best food of my life,
shopped at some of the most beautiful markets around
and spent a good lot of time
doing a good lot of nothing
with some of the best people I know.
I wish I could go back next week.
But since I can’t,
I thought today
I’d talk a little about plums.
Surprisingly, to me at least,
we arrived right in the midst of Italy’s plum season.
The varieties we found
were mostly small.
Tiny fruit with tiny pits.
deep violet and creamy golden yellow.
And really, really delicious.
So while back here in chilly Toronto
it’s not at all the season for plums,
for me, it’s kinda perfectly timed anyway.
FOR THE LOVE OF PIE — a series that celebrates the simple things.
Today, Nicole & Camille’s Plum Tart!
I’d known of Camille’s work just a little before I think.
I remember her collaborations with Karen
over at Sunday Suppers,
but I’d never worked with her in person.
And while I still haven’t had the pleasure,
I was happy when
Nicole suggested they work together.
So then, with no further ado,
Nicole and Camille’s pretty Plum Tart.
Find the recipe and a little more about the two of them below.
PS: Photos by Nicole Franzen, recipe and food styling by Camille Becerra. Thanks ladies!
PPS: If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving this week, I think this pie may just be perfect!
Nicole Franzen & Camille Becerra
Brooklyn, New York
Plums are one of my favorite summer fruits. A pie seemed like the perfect vessel to hold its juicy ripe decadence. The cornmeal crust recipe is from the Italian baker Carol Field and gives the tart enough structure to hold the saucy plum sauce filling. The balsamic syrup lends a rich finish.
BEST SERVED WITH?
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
ONE OR TWO THINGS
Nicole – gardening, interior design & cooking
Camille – hot dogs in the summer and caviar in the winter.
by Camille Becerra
by Carol Fields
1 ½ stick butter
¾ cup sugar
3 egg yolk
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup yellow cornmeal, fine grind
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla extract
3 pounds plums, seeded and sliced
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons white sugar
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing in thoroughly before adding the next. Sift flour, cornmeal and salt together and add to mixture. Finish with vanilla. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Flour dough generously and roll out in between two pieces of parchment or wax paper.
Meanwhile while thats chilling, in a small heavy bottomed saucepan mix sugar with a couple tablespoons of water. On medium to high heat allow the sugar to melt and caramelize till amber. Remove the caramel from fire and immediately add the vinegar a teaspoon at a time, being very careful with the natural splattering that occurs. As the sugar cools you can add vinegar in a steady stream. Return to fire and allow to reduce till syrupy.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dust tart shell with cornmeal and roll dough onto it. Toss plums with sugar and flour. Arrange the plums into the dough shell. Place pie on a cookie sheet in the event the plum juices bubble over. Bake for 35 minutes, remove from oven and brush over the balsamic syrup. Place in the oven for an additional 5 minutes.