Freeform Fruit Tarts
340g/12oz red plums
70g/2½oz/⅓ cup caster (superfine) sugar plus extra to sprinkle
1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)
grated zest of 1 lemon
cream or custard to serve
For the sweet pastry (pie crust)
225g/8oz/2¼ cups plain (all-purpose) flour
50g/2oz/½ cup icing (confectioner’s) sugar
150g/5oz/⅔ cup cold butter, diced plus extra to grease
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
beaten egg to brush
1 To make the pastry, put the flour in a large mixing bowl, add the icing sugar and butter and rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix the egg yolks with the vanilla extract, add to the flour and mix to a smooth ball. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2 Stone and slice the plums and mix with the raspberries, caster sugar, cornflour and lemon zest.
3 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Butter two baking sheets.
4 Divide the pastry into six pieces and roll out each one to a 15cm/6in diameter circle. Divide the fruit among the circles, leaving a border of 2.5cm/1in. Fold the pastry up and around the fruit, pleating it in soft folds and leaving the centre uncovered. Place the tarts on the prepared baking sheets. Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle with a little caster sugar. Bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes.
5 Leave on the baking sheets to cool for 10 minutes. Serve the warm tarts with cream or custard. Or cool, wrap in foil and freeze.