Looking for a fabulous dessert? You’ll love this Italian Plum Shortbread Tart, with juicy plums, buttery shortbread crust, and streusel top!
Looking for a fabulous dessert? You'll love this Italian Plum Shortbread Tart, with juicy plums, buttery shortbread crust, and streusel top!

What To Do With A LOT of Italian Prune Plums?

That was the case last month when a friend of ours gave us a LOT of Italian plums from a friends tree. I gave a bunch of them to one of our sons, but there were still too many for my husband and I to eat! What is a girl to do? I ended up creating this recipe to use most of them (recipe takes about 25 plums). After making the tart, I also made a jar of Italian plum jam with the remaining plums (yes… we STILL had more plums-go figure). 

My inspiration for this recipe is one of my favorite recipes for fruit-filled shortbread tarts. I received a recipe card for an apple shortbread tart many years ago from a dear friend. Over the years I have modified it to make a boysenberry shortbread tart, and a peach shortbread tart. All those ripe plums inspired me to tweak the recipe once again to make an Italian Plum Shortbread Tart! I decided to use the same crust and topping, but come up with my own Italian plum filling.

Italian plums are dull black in color and oblong in shape.

SURPRISE, SURPRISE!

WOW! The results turned out amazing and delicious! Who knew that this humble looking plum could be the star in such a delicious fruit tart? The really cool part is that while the insides of this raw “oblong-shaped” fruit are GOLD in color, after baking they turn a brilliant shade of RED! WAIT… WHAT???

The shortbread crumble serves as both the crust AND the topping for this dessert, which is made using a tart pan with a removeable bottom. NOTE: No tart pan? You can make this dessert using a 9″ deep dish pie pan. The plums turn out juicy and incredibly delicious inside this yummy Italian Plum Shortbread Tart. YUM! Let me show you how to make it!

Scroll Down For A Printable Recipe Card At The Bottom Of The Page

Prepare The Crust For The Tart

The shortbread crust can be made using a hand held pastry blender, two forks OR a food processor. Place all of the crust ingredients EXCEPT FOR EGG YOLKS in a large bowl (or processor). Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until the butter has been reduced to about the size of peas. Add the egg yolks, and mix only until just combined. IMPORTANT- **Measure out 1/4th of this mixture and set aside to sprinkle on top of the tart later.

Pat the remaining shortbread mixture very firmly onto the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. I like to use the back of a large spoon to do this. Once packed firmly down on the bottom and into the sides, the shortbread crust is ready for the plum filling.

Cold butter is cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender.A back of a spoon is used to press down the crumb topping firmly to form crust.The tart crust is now formed and is ready for the fruit filling.

Prepare The Plum Tart Filling

Wash and dry the plums, and leave the skin ON. Slice the plums (from top to bottom) into ¼” slices, and remove the seed from the middle. You should get about 4 slices per plum. See how the insides are a beautiful golden color BEFORE baking? Discard all the seeds, because we don’t want any of them in this dessert!

You will need a total of 1¼ pounds of sliced plums for this recipe. The weight is calculated AFTER plums have been sliced and the seed has been removed. For me, that meant using about 25 medium-sized Italian plums. I weighed the total amount of sliced plums occasionally as I cut them up.

Holding one of the Italian plums before slicing.Italian plums are a golden color inside, once sliced and seed has been removed.

Time To Fill The Tart

In a large mixing bowl, gently combine the sliced plums, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon until well-coated. Pour the plum filling into the uncooked shortbread crust, and distribute evenly to fill the crust.

Sliced Italian plums are coated with flour, brown sugar and cinnamon to make the fruit filling.Fruit filling has been added and the Italian Plum Shortbread Tart is ready to top with streusel.

Add Streusel Topping Then Bake!

Evenly sprinkle the top of the fruit with the remaining crumb topping you set aside earlier. Completely cover the the top of the tart. Once done, carefully place the tart on a middle rack in your preheated oven. TIP: Place a sheet of aluminum foil under the pan, in case of any drips during baking.

Bake at 400°F. for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F.. Continue baking for about 25-30 minutes at the lower temperature, until the topping turns golden brown. When the topping is nicely browned, remove the Italian plum shortbread tart from the oven, and place on a wire rack to cool.

Topped with streusel, the plum tart is ready to bake.After baking, the Italian Plum Shortbread Tart is golden brown on top, and bubbly around edges.

After the tart has cooled to room temperature, remove the tart from the pan. To do this, place your hand firmly on the bottom metal disc, and gently press the metal disc upward to release it from the sides of the tart pan. Transfer the metal disc with the tart on it to a serving plate.

Can you see the miracle? Those originally golden colored plums have now turned a beautiful shade of red during baking! I think that is amazing!

A side view of the crust edges of the plum-filled shortbread tart.

Time For A Slice Of The Italian Plum Shortbread Tart

The tart will slice the best if it has had the chance to cool. Once ready, slice the Italian plum shortbread tart into slices, and transfer to serving plates. You can see in the photo below that the metal tart pan disc is still in place under the tart.

Serve this fruit tart slightly warm, with a nice big scoop of vanilla ice cream and a mint leaf garnish, if desired. It tastes wonderfully DELICIOUS!

Once baked, Italian plums turn a beautiful red color, shown in the Italian plum shortbread tart.A slice of Italian plum shortbread tart, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream & mint sprig.

I really hope you will have the opportunity to make this Italian Plum Shortbread Tart for those you love. It’s a fantastic way to use those humble, Italian plums when they are in season. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you will come back soon for more family-friendly recipes.

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Italian Plum Shortbread Tart
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

Looking for a fabulous dessert? You'll love this Italian Plum Shortbread Tart, with juicy plums, buttery shortbread crust, and streusel top!

Category: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Italian Plum Shortbread Tart
Servings: 8
Calories Per Serving: 394 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
For The Crust/Topping:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup COLD butter , cut in small chunks. (=1½ sticks)
  • 2 large egg yolks
For Plum Filling:
  • pounds Italian Prune Plums , approx. 25 Italian plums/sliced
  • ¼ cup brown sugar , packed
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Place all crust ingredients EXCEPT FOR EGG YOLKS in a large bowl (or processor). Cut COLD butter into flour mixture (w/ 2 forks or pastry blender) until butter is reduced to the size of peas. Add egg yolks; mix only until just combined. IMPORTANT- Measure out 1/4th of this mixture and set aside to sprinkle on top of the tart later. Pat remaining shortbread mixture very firmly onto bottom and sides of the tart pan. Set aside.

  3. Wash/dry plums. Slice plums from top to bottom (½" thick, leaving skin ON), and remove seed. You should get about 4 slices per plum. In a large mixing bowl, combine sliced plums, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon until well-coated. Pour plum filling into uncooked shortbread crust; distribute evenly to fill crust.

  4. Evenly sprinkle fruit with the remaining crumb topping you set aside earlier. Completely cover the fruit. Once done, carefully place tart on a middle rack in preheated oven. TIP: Place a sheet of aluminum foil under the pan, in case of any drips during baking.

  5. Bake at 400°F. for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F.. Continue baking for 25-30 minutes, until topping is golden brown. Remove tart from oven; transfer to wire rack. After tart has cooled to room temp., remove tart from pan (not necessary if using pie pan). To do this, place your hand firmly on the bottom metal disc,; press disc gently upward to release it from the sides of the tart pan.

  6. Cut tart into 8 slices, and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

NOTE: I used about 25 Italian plums for this recipe. The total weight of 1¼ pounds was calculated after slicing and removing the seeds.

Nutrition Facts
Italian Plum Shortbread Tart
Amount Per Serving (1 slice (1/8 of total))
Calories 394 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 92mg31%
Sodium 229mg10%
Potassium 166mg5%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 26g29%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 838IU17%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 26mg3%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Looking for a fabulous dessert? You'll love this Italian Plum Shortbread Tart, with juicy plums, buttery shortbread crust, and streusel top!

 

 

Italian Plum Shortbread Tart

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