This Mirabelle Plum Tart from the Lorraine Region is a typical late-summer treat from the area. If you can’t get your hands on mirabelles, try it with ripe golden plums.
With 10,000 hectares of orchards, the Lorraine region fruitages nearly 40 thousand tons of Mirabelle plums each year – representing 70% of the worldwide production. No surprise then that this sweet delicious fruit is the official symbol of the region.
Two main varieties exist: the mirabelle from Metz (smaller, golden with red spots) and the mirabelle from Nancy (plumper with a plain golden hue). They are both labelled as “mirabelle from Lorraine” and grow in the orchards of the Meuse, Moselle and in the valleys of Southern Meurthe-et-Moselle and The Vosges.
And when late summer blooms, mirabelle picking is a cherished family ritual in the Lorraine region (and serious business for the farmers as well!). From mid-august til late September, Mirabelle plum tarts adorn every table and bakery stand. Because mirabelle season is fairly short, the locals get really frantic about this tart and like to enjoy it as many times as they can before fall settles.
As traditional as can be, this Mirabelle plum tart recipe is from the official Lorraine Region tourism website. It is simple, and oh so lovely.
Because real mirabelles are very hard to find outside of Europe, I had to switch for small, golden ripe plums. Plums are less sweet and more acidic than the mirabelles, so I tossed and let sit the plums in sugar before baking them. Sure, it increased the quantity of sugar in the recipe, but I think this is necessary if you don’t want to end up with a sour tart.
If you can get your hands on mirabelles, simply follow the recipe and you will get a naturally sweet and delicious tart.
To give this Mirabelle plum tart its signature texture, crumble two or three simple biscuits (digestive cookies, sables, shortbreads or even graham cookies) at the bottom of the crust. These will absorb all the juices from the plums and ensure your crust remains delectably crunchy.
Mirabelle Plum Tart from LorrainePrint This
700g unstoned mirabelles (or golden plums)
250g plain flour
1 egg yolk
30 ml water
1 pinch of salt
A few plain biscuits
Optional: 1/2 Cup sugar (if using golden plums)
For the sweet shortcrust pastry:
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter until you obtain fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar. Make a well and add the egg yolk. Mix and add enough water to bind, until you obtain a smooth ball. Leave in the fridge for one hour.
For the Garnish:
Butter and lightly flour a 9′ tart dish.
Line the dish with the rolled out pastry. Crumble the biscuits and sprinkle them over the base (this absorbs the plum juice).
Option 1 (for mirabelles): Halve the mirabelles and remove the stone.
Option 2 (for golden plums): Halve the plums and remove the stone. Place the plums in a large bowl, and sprinkle ½ cup of sugar on top. Toss them gently and let them sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
Pre-heat your oven at 475F.
Arrange the mirabelles – or golden plums- over the tart base as you like. To reproduce the photo image, arrange the plum segments in concentric circles, overlapping the slices as you go. Start at the edge then work towards the centre.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the tart from the mold immediately.
Optional: Sprinkle with caster sugar or icing sugar.
This recipe is translated and adapted from the Lorraine Region tourism website.