Easy to make, delicious French tart dough is wrapped around plums like little envelopes to make dumplings, a favourite of dessert lovers. Here is the recipe for little plum pastries that should satisfy the most refined tastes.
16 prune plums or a variety that can be easily pitted
16 -5 ml (16 tsp) sugar, or 16 sugar cubes
425 ml (1 3/4 cups) all purpose flour
10 ml (2 tsp) sugar
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
250 ml (1 cup) butter or margarine at the room temperature
6 – 15 ml (6-7 tbsp) cold water
25 ml (2 tbsp) milk
25 ml (2 tbsp) granulated sugar for garnish
Whipping cream for serving, optional
Preheat the oven at 180º C (350º F).
Prepare the plums. Cut a cross-shape at one end of the plum, enough to let you discard the pit. Fill the cavity with a teaspoon or cube of sugar. Sprinkle with cinnamon powder and set aside.
To make the pastry, start by mixing flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the butter to the flour mixture, cut into small pea-sized pieces with a pastry cutter or two knives, and then sprinkle on the cold water. Continue tossing with a wooden spoon until the dough holds together. Shape into a ball and set it aside for 15-20 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 2.5 cm (1-inch) roll, and then divide it into 16 equal parts.
Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece of dough into a square shape large enough to cover the plum. Place one filled plum in the centre of the pastry square and fold the corners toward the centre, the same way as you would fold an envelope. Trim off the excess dough from the corners, brush the edge with cold water and press the edges together so the sides will seal well. From the trimmings, cut off four little leaves and using a knife, draw the stem using several lines. Brush the base of the leaves with water then press them onto the centre top of the dumplings.
Place the dumplings on a baking pan lined with baking paper. Using a small brush, brush each dumpling with milk then sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on the outside but tender inside when tested with a wooden toothpick.
Serve while still warm with whipping cream.