the appetizer:

Small Parties by Marguerite Henderson, features full menus, like Breakfast at the Cabin for Six with a recipe for Herbed Egg Strudel and Autumn Harvest Feast for Eight with a recipe for Roast Prime Rib of Pork with Cherry Bourbon Sauce.



Plum Crostada
(Rustic Free-Form Fruit Tart)

Serves 8



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 tablespoons cold butter
  • 8 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 4 to 6 ounces iced water


  • 2 pounds fresh plums, pitted and sliced lengthwise into quarters
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar


  • whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

In a bowl or food processor, combine all ingredients except water. Incorporate the butter and shortening into flour until size of peas. Do not overmix. Add the iced water, a little at a time, until soft dough is formed. Again, do not overmix. Place the dough on a work surface dusted lightly with flour, form into a ball, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling out into a 14-inch-diameter circle. Place dough on parchment-lined large baking sheet. It will overhang slightly.


In a medium-sized bowl, combine all ingredients. Toss gently. Place evenly in center of dough, leaving a 2-inch border around the filling. Fold the 2 inches of dough over the filling so that the filling is encased around edges but center is exposed. Brush the dough with egg wash and sprinkle the entire surface with the raw sugar. Bake in preheated 350° F oven for 30 minutes.

Fruit should be bubbly. Serve warm, cut into wedges, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Note: Substitute other fruits when plums are not in season. Use about 2 pounds of fruit or 4 to 6 cups of berries.

  • from:
    Small Parties
    More Than 100 Recipes for Intimate Gatherings
  • by Marguerite Henderson
  • Gibbs Smith, 2008
  • Paperback; $19.95
  • ISBN-10: 1423602463
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-4236-0246-0
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

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Small Parties

*more recipes for this menu appear in the book


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