Plum & Vanilla Tart
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A typical open, fruit tart with a vanilla confectioners custard on the base, just the way you see them in French patisseries. Good for breakfast as tea or a supper party dessert. Naspli is the Maltese name of these Japanese / Chinese 'plums'. makes a tart 30 x 22cm in a shallow-sided tin (swiss roll tin ideal). Serves 8
Recipe type: Dessert, Pastry
Cuisine: French
Serves: 10
  • Pastry
  • 130g plain flour
  • 60g polenta or semolina
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 3-4 tbsps cold water
  • Topping
  • 3 medium egg yolks
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 20g cornflour
  • 250ml fresh whole milk
  • 1 tsp top quality vanilla essence
  • ½ vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
  • around ½ kilo of stone fruit (plums, apricots etc), halved or quartered and stones removed
  • 2 tsps sugar to sprinkle over tart before baking
  • zest of a lemon, to dot on top before baking, if desired.
  1. Preheat oven (fan) to 180°C
  2. Make pastry by rubbing the fat into the flour and polenta/semolina til it resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the water, mixing the flour with a palate knife til it forms large clumps and then knead a little by hand to form a smooth ball. Flatten slightly into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill for an hour.
  3. Make custard for tart base: whisk the egg yolks and sugar til thickened and light in colour, then add the cornflour and vanilla essence and whisk in well. Bring the milk to the boil and pour in slowly in a thin drizzle into the egg mix, whisking briskly all the time to mix in well. Return the entire mixture to the pan and over a lower heat, whisk (or use a spatula) the egg custard until it just begins to thicken. Do not leave too long and scrap or whisk continually so it doesn’t burn or stick to the pan bottom. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool a little.
  4. Roll out the pastry to fit the tin. If not non-stick, line the tin with baking parchment. Line the tin with the pastry, leaving some overhang. No need to cut back neatly as pastry may shrink cooking anyway.
  5. Pour in the cooled custard, spreading it out over the tart base evenly.
  6. Place the fruit halves, skin side up, in rows over the custard base. Sprinkle over a little sugar.
  7. Cut open vanilla pod and scrape the seeds out over the tart.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven for around 25-30 minutes or until pastry edge is lightly golden and fruit slightly roasted on top.
Recipe by The Red Bistro at