Sweet Plums in Summer and an Old Tart Recipe

The orchard, summer’s sweet fulfillment, beckons each morning, before the heat sets in. With the passing of the month, more heavily laden boughs bend with the weight of fruits of the season. Long gone are the peaches, young berries and cherries of early summer: now is the time for slow maturing fruit, apples, pears, quinces, figs and plums. Today the ruby-red fleshed Satsuma plums announced their turn to be picked: not as sweet as the Mariposa plum of early January, but a close relative and a very good keeper.

satsuma plums

Picking fruit is a kind way to wake up. I ponder the efficacy of the netting, and the man who meticulously netted, as I reach in to gently press the fruit, testing for perfect ripeness. An abundant season thanks to good spring rain, purple plums press against each other, nudging siblings for space on the bough, beautiful cheeks full of dark juice. As the basket fills, recipes come to mind- sweets of all kinds and savoury concoctions too, jams to put down for rustic winter crostate, spicy Chinese sauces, and poached plums to eat with yoghurt or labne.

Picking plums in the cool of early morning

I’ve made this tart often, and in the past with pears, apricots and cherries. It’s a seasonal standby. The apricot version is my most popular recipe on this blog. I’ve never had much success with growing apricots and so that version is a rare treat. Commercial apricots are picked too soon and never seem to fully ripen, tasting wooden and sour. This plum version is colourful and not too sweet. When choosing plums, make sure that they are juicy, fully ripe and are red fleshed. I should stress that they are not poached beforehand, but gently pressed into the top of the almond frangipane batter before baking.

Torta di mandorle e prugne

Torta di Mandorle e Prugne con Amaretto. Italian Almond and Plum Cake with Amaretto.


  • 125 g softened unsalted butter
  • 150 g castor sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 375 g finely ground almond meal
  • 2 Tablespoons Amaretto liqueur ( brandy works well enough here)
  • red fleshed plums, such as blood plums, fully ripe, enough to fill the tart
  • 25 g flaked almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 170 FF. Grease a 25 cm loose bottom tin and line with baking paper.
  2. Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixing bowl, then add eggs one at a time and beat for 5 minutes until thick and pale. If the mixture curdles, throw in a little of the measured flour.
  3. Stir in the flour mixed with the baking powder, then fold in the almond meal, followed by the Amaretto. Pour into the prepared tin.
  4. Arrange halved plums over the top and lightly press down so they are partly submerged. Scatter the top with the flaked almonds.
  5. Bake for 45- 50 mins. Cool in tin. Gently un-mould.

    Torta di Mandorle e Prugne

In summer, this tart keeps well in a covered box in the fridge. I reheat the slices a little before serving.

Links to my my previous plum concoctions.

Poached plums with labne and nuts and seeds

Plum Clafoutis

Plum and Semolina Cream Tart

Rustic Italian Plum Cake

Chinese Plum Sauce


33 thoughts on “Sweet Plums in Summer and an Old Tart Recipe”

    1. It’s that time of year for me. No rest for teh wicked. I also picked some heritage apples today and thought of that post you did a year or two ago comparing apple flavours, Today, the Akane and Roman Beauty apples have reached maturity. And then I picked 8 cucumbers, driving me to the shed in search of more jars to sterilize. Wish you lived next door! And looking forward to your plum creation.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. They are satsumas- full sized. I also have some mariposa and santa rosa plums. I have a preference for Japanese blood plum varieties. I am tempted to plant more varieties because I love plums so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. We do not live in a place where it is even reasonable to expect to get perfectly ripened and sweet fruit…but if we did… Those plums look so gorgeous. Maybe twice in the 34 years I’ve lived in Australia have I had really sweet, juicy apricots. Had I not had them, I would wonder why all the fuss for them. Having had them once and knowing their true potential makes one live in hope. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our fruit bounty has taken 7 years and even though we might be leaving soon, I am still chasing a good apricot tree to plant this coming winter. Seems odd planting fruit trees at my age ( 68) but someone might get to enjoy that real taste.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have great memories of apricots and plums in my grandparents’ orchard. Thank goodness for farmers and markets where sometimes we are fortunate to find tasty fruit. Which would be lovely made into one of your sweet dishes. Fruit fly is a problem around here, so many untended trees. I went, hopefully, with my neighbour to forage for plums to make worcestershire sauce and the tree was infested with maggots as soon too were we. Yuck. I settled for Odd Bod plums from the supermarket after that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I must try making some worcestershire too. Odd bod fruits are a great bonus. It;s amazing how much we retain from our grandparents’ example and their old ways with fruit and other foods.


  3. As a child, during my summer holidays, I always spent time at my grandparents. They had apple and plum trees orchards so I eat a lot of these fruits. I had also helped with the plucking. I will try this recipe in the memory of those times. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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