This week at school, my 5-year old and his classmates made little plum tarts or tarte aux pruneaux. On Tuesday, their teacher took them to the marché to buy fresh plums. With 4 plums purchased for each student, they all walked back to school. Then on Thursday, they prepared and baked the tarts. When we went to the playground after school that day, my son unveiled his baking creation, carefully wrapped up in a colorful napkin.
Our 2-year old with multiple food allergies didn’t taste the tart because I assumed it contained some type of milk-related ingredient. To give him that opportunity, I made a super quick version at home using a pre-made crust from Coop—a convenient allergy-friendly product I’ve recently discovered. The Coop-brand Kuchenteig (German) or Pâte brisée (French) contains gluten, but the label doesn’t list any of my son’s allergens—milk, egg or almond.
The French-speaking cantons of Switzerland eat tarte aux pruneaux this time of year, in part because it’s plum season, but also because of the upcoming mid-September holiday—Jeûne Fédéral. Historically, this was a federal fasting day “in remembrance of wars, pestilence or other misfortunes.” A traditional fast-breaking feast included tarte aux pruneaux, which could be made in advance.
While I haven’t heard of anyone planning to fast on September 16, the practice of making and eating plum tarts has continued—as demonstrated by my son’s recent classroom activity. This tart took almost no time to make, and my husband finished it up at breakfast this morning.
Vegan Tarte aux Pruneaux
Adapted from a recipe featured in Migros’ cuisine de saison.
1 prepared tart crust, such as Coop’s Pâte brisée
1/2 cup ground hazelnuts
15-20 plums, pitted and quartered
1/3 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F. Place prepared tart crust in an 11-inch/28-cm, nonstick springform pan (use greased parchment paper, if necessary). Prick the crust with a fork. Spread ground hazelnuts evenly on the crust.
Next, gently arrange the pitted and quartered plums on top of the hazelnuts. Please note: you can pack the plums tight and overlap them a bit; they’ll shrink as they bake. Then, sprinkle sugar over the fresh plums.
Bake for about 35-40 minutes, until the plums have softened and the crust is lightly browned.
My Sunday plans include a huge, 4-course feast celebrating local Suisse-Romande cuisine. I look forward to discovering some new Swiss foods I can safely recreate at home for my family. Bon week-end!