Thursday, 6 October 2011

Peach Cake and Plum Tart - Two Delicious Ina Garten Recipes

Have you heard of Ina's Garden? It's a recipe linky I host with four other bloggers, where we share our favourite Ina Garten recipes. If you are a fan of Ina, you should definitely check it out. We meet once a month, and you can find our latest linky here

Here are two of the recipes I have made for previous editions of Ina's Garden. The first is her delicious Plum Tart.
The Barefoot Contessa's Plum Tart
When I stumbled on Ina’s Plum Tart on the Barefoot Contessa website, I could not have been more pleased. Plum, juicy plums are one of my favourites this time of year. I love their colours, from pale yellow to deep purple, and the way their skin yields to a plump, juicy interior when you bite into them. The other thing that attracted me to this recipe was its crumbly topping. My husband adores fruit crumble, and I love tarts and pies. This tart is the perfect combination of crumble and pie, and so perfect for us!
It really was very easy to make, although I do recommend using a mixer to combine the crust/crumble ingredients. I tried mixing them by hand but it really was fiddly. Also, Ina calls for 2 pounds of plums, which worked out to about a dozen, but that was actually too many for my tart dish. Plums vary in size so much, it isn’t surprising really. In the end, I used about 9 large plums which weighed in at about 1½ pounds. 
I needed to use more of the crust mixture that Ina called for to line my tart dish. The dish wasn’t much bigger than the 9½ inch springform tart pan called for, but I needed more to get it pressed all the way up the edges. There was still plenty of crust/crumble left to sprinkle over top. I don’t think my plums were as juicy as the ones Ina called for, as the juices never did bubble up through the crust, but the tart did cook to a gorgeous golden brown. 
Serving the tart was a bit tricky. As I did not have the correct size springform pan, I was serving directly from a tart dish. The crust had remained a bit crumbly (I might use 2 egg yolks next time) so I needed a nice wide spatula to get the pieces out. It didn’t affect our enjoyment of the dish though. The finely chopped walnuts in the crust/crumble mixture give it a wonderful flavour and texture. Served it with vanilla ice cream, Ina’s Plum Tart was a lovely midweek treat. My husband did suggest it would be good  with custard as well, and I totally agree - except I’m always going to choose ice cream over custard. It’s the Canadian in me! 
I’m so pleased with Ina’s Plum Tart. I will definitely make it again, and would be happy to make it for company. You can find the recipe here on The Barefoot Contessa websiteAnother wonderful recipe I have shared is Ina Garten's Fresh Peach Cake. It is so good!  I am going to try it (with very well drained) canned peaches out of season. 

The Barefoot Contessa's Fresh Peach Cake
I adore peaches and this cake sounded so easy to make, I could not resist. I found it in Ina’s ‘Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That’, a book that is fast becoming a really valuable resource in my kitchen. As well as my favourite peaches, the cake also contains warming cinnamon and mellow pecans. The recipe was incredibly easy to put together and the cake smelled wonderful when it was baking. It was a very forgiving recipe too. I was a bit distracted while making it as I had a couple of phone calls and at one point the batter sat for a little while before I layered it with the peaches and cinnamon sugar in the pan, but this did not adversely affect the recipe. We ate it warm from the oven with good vanilla ice cream, and at room temperature this morning for breakfast. It was delicious both ways. I can’t help but think raspberry ripple ice cream would make a gorgeous companion for this sweetly moist and spiced cake as it would be reminiscent of a peach melba. 

You can find the recipe here. I will definitely make this it again, and I would consider using different fruits as well. 

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Ina's Garden


  1. Yum! Both look delicious, especially since I know her peach raspberry crisp is pretty amazing. Great post!


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