A few days ago I bought a bag of fresh Italian Plums at the outdoor market. I had eaten several but wanted to set aside a few to make something…I just wasn’t sure what that something was. For the last couple of days I’ve been mulling it over and going through what I have on hand that I might be able to pair with them to make something nice. I also remembered that I had stuck a bunch of very ripe bananas in the freezer. If you’ve never done this, you should. You don’t need to bag them or anything, I just stuck mine on the shelf. When they thaw they are amazing. Very intense banana flavor, like a banana liquor, and the texture is perfect for smoothies and baking.
This recipe is adapted (very loosely) from a tea cake recipe I used to make in the “olden days” when I could eat gluten and dairy. It was in the Better Homes & Gardens Old Fashioned Home Baking Cookbook. An absolutely amazing cookbook that I would highly recommend. If you’re into adapting recipes to fit your needs and aren’t the type that sticks to a recipe, you’ll love it.
Banana Plum Tart
Preheat oven to 350°
8-10 Very Ripe Italian Plums
1 Frozen Very Ripe Banana
2 1/2 Cups Mama’s Almond Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Dairy Free Butter
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
3/4 Cup Almond Milk, with 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
About 1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
Spray a round tart pan with non-stick spray and pour about 1/8 cup sugar in the pan.
Wiggle the pan around to disperse the sugar, coating as evenly as possible. Set aside.
Wash and dry the plums. Cut in half, remove the pit, then cut into quarters.
Set the banana on a plate to partially thaw. (This shows two bananas, you will only need one.)
In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and xanthan gum. Add the dairy free butter.
“Cut it in” with your fingers until it resembles course crumbs, I prefer this over a pastry blender. What fun is cooking and baking if you can’t touch it? Do it quickly though, you don’t want the butter melting in your fingers.
Set aside about 1/2 cup of the mixture.
Into the remaining flour mixture, add the baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, and cinnamon. Stir or whisk until combined and set aside.
Measure out 3/4 cup Almond milk and add the lemon. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. This makes buttermilk. Or at least the scientific equivalent.
When it has set for 10 minutes, add the egg and beat with a fork until thoroughly combined.
Mash the partially frozen banana with a fork. The reason you want it partially frozen is because if you allow it to thaw completely it gets very runny and mushy.
Add the egg mixture and banana to the dry mixture.
Stir just until combined, do not over mix. Baking ingredients don’t like to be fiddled with and over-mixed, it makes them tough and cranky.
Spread two-thirds of the batter over the bottom and sides of the tart pan with a spoon.
Add the Italian plums in a pretty pattern.
Use the remaining one-third batter to dollop over the plums.
Sprinkle with the reserved dry topping and brown sugar. Why more sugar? Because frankly, dark brown sugar just makes everything taste better and it makes a perfect friendship with plums and bananas.
Bake for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted into a couple different places comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely (or for at least 30 minutes) before removing it from the pan.