Plum Dump Tart


I make no excuses for once again being effusive about this time of year. There is a certain smell to the coming of autumn that makes my heart sing. I also do not apologise for again including a plum dessert. British plums are around for such a short time. The foreign ones available all year are hard and tasteless, so we really need to make the most of the best of British. Although I have to say the British strawberry was a source of disappointment this year; tasteless, I put it down to polytunnels and the over production of the Elsanta variety. Did you also notice that the supermarkets were always selling them for half price? This seemed to be for the entire season, therefore I imagine it was in fact the true price. For legal reasons I presume they were on sale for double the price for a nanosecond in April.

If you hate making pastry (I hate having to lift out my marble pastry board) this is the recipe for you. Pastry without the rolling out. And why Plum Dump? Because you simply dump everything in a tin and cook it. Not the neatest looking of desserts, but a harvest time delight.

Ingredients - serves 6 to 8

8oz (220g) self-raising flour 2oz (60g) caster sugar plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
10 large plums, quartered or 18 small plums, halved 3½oz (100g) marzipan
3½oz (100g) butter ½oz (15g) flaked almonds
1 egg, beaten 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
Icing sugar for dusting  


  1. Rub together the flour, butter and sugar until it resembles breadcrumbs, or dump these ingredients in the food processor and blitz them.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla and blend until the “pastry” sort of comes together.
  3. Butter a 9x12in (22x30cm) Swiss roll tin and dump the pastry mix in it. Distribute it over the tin and press down with your fingers.
  4. Dump the plums on top of the “pastry”, cut side up.
  5. Dump chunks of the marzipan on top of the plums (if you want a neatish finish use halved plums and fill the cavity with the marzipan.
  6. Sprinkle the caster sugar over the top and bake at 190ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 5 for 30 mins.
  7. About 5 mins before the end of the cooking time, sprinkle the top with the flaked almonds.
  8. Allow to cool slightly then sprinkle with icing sugar.
  9. Serve warm or at room temperature.