Husband and wife chef team Cameron Smith and Dana Ewart chose “cuisine du terroir” as the concept for their successful catering business because the French term – which translates as “food of the earth” – describes the unique flavour imparted to food or drink by a region’s specific climate, soil, weather and growing conditions. Cam and Dana have a strong sense of place that translates to the food they prepare. Their company, Joy Road Catering, started selling pastries at local farmers’ markets, and has continued to focus on sourcing local, socially responsible food. Their loyal customers enjoy the best of the Okanagan bounty at its peak, while helping to sustain the farmers and artisans who represent the agricultural heritage of the region. They shared their recipe for their well-loved plum tarts; made with Santa Rosa plums in season, they are bestsellers at summer farmers’ markets.
500 g soft flour
150 g icing sugar
225 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp (2 ml) vanilla extract
10 Santa Rosa plums (or substitute your favourite variety)
1/2 cup (125 ml) butter
juice of 1 lemon
2 large eggs
3/4 cup (185 ml) sugar
1 1/2 tsp (7 ml) plum brandy (optional)
1/4 tsp (2 ml) vanilla
1/8 tsp (1 ml) salt
3 tbsp (45 ml) flour
2 tbsp (30 ml) whipping cream
1. I n a medium bowl, sift together the flour, icing sugar and salt. Add the butter and blend with a pastry cutter or your fingertips; add egg yolks and vanilla and toss until a coarse crumb forms. (Or, blend the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, add the butter and pulse to combine, then add the egg yolk and vanilla and pulse until it forms a mass.) Press the dough into a disk about 1-inch thick and wrap tightly in plastic or waxed paper. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
2. Cut the plums in half lengthwise and remove stones; cut into quarters or thick wedges and set aside.
3. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375˚F and roll the dough between two pieces of waxed or parchment paper to a 1/8-inch thickness. Line a tart pan (or several smaller tart pans) with a removable bottom and refrigerate or freeze for an hour. Line the shell with aluminum foil or parchment and fill with pie weights or dry beans; blind bake for 15 minutes, or until pale golden. (This prevents air bubbles from pushing the dough up or the dough from melting and sliding down the sides of the mold.)
4.To make the filling, melt the butter in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Once melted, leave it on the stovetop for a few minutes, until it starts to turn light brown and smell nutty. Remove from heat, add the lemon juice and set aside to cool.
5. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until it falls in ribbons from the beaters. Add brandy, vanilla and salt, then add the flour and cream and stir until just mixed.
6. Arrange plums in the tart shell and pour the filling overtop. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a wire rack before serving.
Adapted from joyroadcatering.com
Originally published from ParentsCanada, July 2012