Monday, August 5, 2013
So I'm at the grocery store this morning, almost done with my shopping, and as I cruise through the fruits and veg, I see the most peculiar fruit. I wheel my trolley closer, pick one up, smell it, tip my head to read the produce sign.
Have any of you ever heard of a Pluot?
I certainly haven't. As I'm curiously fondling the little globe--in a nice way of course--it reminds me of a plum, then I realize it must be a cross between a plum and an apricot, though frankly, if I had invented it, I would have gone with plumcot...at least that makes sense.
The produce manager walks by just then and I waylay him to ask about the pluot. Turns out it's from California, and indeed is a mix of plum and apricot. He shows me how to pick the ripe ones...
...and I grab a half dozen just because they're totally cool.
By the time I get home, I've decided to make a peasant tart, my favorite kind, using my pear tart recipe. I have no idea how juicy these pluots will be, or how they'll cook, but whatever, I won't know unless I try.
After peeling the skins, I was amazed the flesh was such a wonderful color, like edible rubies. As I was slicing them, I ate one of the wedges to see how they tasted. The chewing part tasted like a plum, the swallowing part was more apricot. Weirdly good.
I got the tart made, and learned something right off the bat that I will have to remember if ever I make another pluot tart in the future: Drain off the juice. The pluot made way more juice than any plum, pear or apricot I've ever used. I had to do a bit of finagling at first, but after dotting the top with butter, I finally managed to get the pastry folded over the fruit without too much trouble.
Still though, way too juicy. At one point I actually took the tart out of the oven and carefully held it over the sink to let some of the juice run off. (Now at this point, with my usual finesse and skill, I would have accidently dumped the whole tart in the sink, but hey! Miracles do happen and I didn't!)
Done and out of the oven. While it was cooling, I made the icing and drizzled it over the warm tart...
Three hours after having discovered an entirely new fruit...my first piece of Pluot Tart...
I know this will sound sort of goofy, (a tart tart) but it was deliciously tart, a bit like rhubarb, and still very juicy even after I'd already drained off about a quart of liquid. The pastry is foolproof and always tastes yummy; the combo of crunchy crust and tart fruit was really good.
These little gems would make the best jam. I'm considering making some for my What The Hell Was I Thinking? project since August is usually jam month. By the time the weather cools enough that I'll be able to spend hours in the kitchen, the pluot season might be over. (If I'm lucky).
Still. Even if jam never gets made, my experimental pluot tart came out just fine...