Santa Rosa Plums

Illustrations by John BurgoynePhoto: Kang Kim

Santa Rosa plums proliferate in Northern California, where they were first bred over a century ago by horticulturist Luther Burbank, and where Abraço chef-partner Elizabeth Quijada grew up. Here, she stocks up at Migliorelli’s Greenmarket farm stand. In this simple tart recipe, she poaches the fruit and candies the skin for an edible garnish.

Elizabeth Quijada’s Poached Santa Rosa Plum Tart

1/2 cup sugar (Quijada uses Florida Crystals organic cane sugar)
4 Santa Rosa plums
Superfine sugar for dusting (or finely ground Florida Crystals)
Prepared pâte sucrée tart shell (for Quijada’s recipe, click here)

Preheat oven to 300. Make simple syrup by combining the sugar with 2 cups boiling water, stirring well to dissolve. (1) Cut the plums in half from stem to bottom, twist halves to separate, place skin-side down in a skillet, and (2) cover with simple syrup. Poach over medium-low heat until tender, approximately 6 or 7 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then remove gently onto a plate. Carefully remove the plum skins, keeping them intact, and lay on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread each skin flat and sprinkle with superfine sugar (or Florida Crystals that have been powdered in a small grinder). Bake at 300 for about 6 minutes, until they start to harden, then flip skins and sprinkle the opposite sides with sugar. Continue baking for another 6 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool, and raise oven temperature to 350. (3) Slice each half-plum into moons and fan over a baked pâte sucrée shell in a rectangular 4-by-14-inch tart pan. Sprinkle top with sugar and bake for 10 minutes at 350. When cool, remove from pan and cut into slices, topping each with a piece of candied skin.

Santa Rosa Plums