Apple and Dried Plum Tart with Cognac


Sweet dried plums are tucked among wedges of fresh apple in this simple dessert. A generous splash of Cognac complements the fruit. Brush melted apricot preserves over the warm tart for a quick and delicious glaze.

Crust
 
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour   
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar  
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt    
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening (preferably zero-trans fat), frozen, cut into 1/2-inch pieces   
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, chilled  cut into 1/2-inch pieces      
  • 3 tablespoons ice water    
Blend flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add shortening and butter, and blend by pulsing until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
Add ice water, and continue to pulse until moist clumps form. Gather dough into a ball, then flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill at least one hour.

Filling

  • 12  medium dried plums, pitted 
  • 1/3 cup  Cognac (or brandy), of drinkable quality    
  • 4 medium Golden Delicious apples, peeled, quartered, cored; each quarter cut into 3 wedges   
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar   
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided   
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves, heated and strained   
  • Vanilla ice cream (for topping if desired)
Combine dried plums and Cognac (or brandy) in a small bowl. Cover, and let stand 2 hours, stirring often. Drain dried plums, reserving Cognac. Cut dried plums in half, and set aside.
  
Preheat oven to 400°F. Position rack in center of oven. Roll out dough, on a lightly floured surface, into a 12-inch round. Transfer dough to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Fold overhanging dough in and press, forming double thick sides; refrigerate crust for 30 minutes, or place in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  
Mix apples, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of butter in large bowl. Arrange apple wedges, overlapping slightly, in concentric circles in dough-lined tart pan. Bake tart until apples are just tender, about 1 hour.
  
Tuck rehydrated dried plums into spaces between apples. Brush fruit with remaining tablespoon of butter. Bake until apples are very tender and the crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes longer. Blend 1 tablespoon of reserved Cognac into strained preserves to make a glaze. Brush glaze over warm tart.
 
Cut tart into wedges, and serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream. Drizzle some of the reserved Cognac over the ice cream, if desired.

Serves 6