the appetizer:

Starting with Ingredients by Aliza Green, offers hundreds of international recipes featuring ingredients from around the world, including Haitian Roasted Eggplant Salad, Ukrainian Spinach & Egg Noodle Casserole, and Rustic Plum Tart with Slivovitz.

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Rustic Plum Tart with Slivovitz

Serves 12

This country-style tart is easier and less intimidating to make than a fancier tart made in a fluted flan ring. A Slivovitz-flavored almond cream is layered inside a pizza-like pastry shell, plums cover the top, and skin-on raw, sliced almonds for a crunchy texture are sprinkled over top and an interesting look.

Almond Filling

Grind the flour and almonds in a food processor until finely ground, (The flour keeps the almonds from turning oily.)

Cream together the almond paste, butter, and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, Add the flour and almond mixture to the creamed mix. Stir in Slivovltz and reserve. (Refrigerate if making ahead, up to 4 days.)

Sweet Pastry and Assembly

Cream the butter and sugar. Stir in the flour, cinnamon, and salt. Add enough ice water for the dough to form a ball. Chill.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll the dough into a large circle (about 16 inches in diameter) and place onto a round pizza pan at least 12 inches in diameter or shape one out of several layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil). Spread a 1/4-inch-thick layer of filling over the pastry, leaving a 1-1/2-inch border all around. Arrange the plums in tight concentric rings overthe filling. Fold the edges of the dough up, pleating as you go to form a rough border. Trim excess dough with scissors.

Lightly beat together the milk and egg to make an egg j wash. Use it to brush the dough border, then sprinkle with the sliced almonds. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the pastry edges are brown and the filling is bubbling.

In a small pot or in the microwave, melt the jam until just hot to the touch. Remove the tart from the oven, cool and then brush with the jam.

Slivovitz: Brandy Distilled From Plums

Slivovitz, is or was originally, the local fruit brandy of Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is made from a black plum called Madjarka, which imparts a richly heady scent to the spirit. These black plums are crushed along with their stones and fermented very slowly for about three months. It is double-distilled and then aged in casks of Slovenian oak. Sometimes, whole plums are thrown in to macerate in the spirit while it ages about five years.


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This page created June 2007