Cast-Iron Plum Tarte Tatin
Cape Town chef Ash Heeger prepares this rustic upside-down tart on the grill: “It adds a great smoky element,” she says. Be sure to use a covered grill so the puff pastry crisps enough under the fruit. Local plums are a seasonal favorite of Heeger’s. The high heat of the grill deeply caramelizes their sugars, which she then offsets with a dollop of crème fraîche or mascarpone.
In Cape Town, summer means braai—the unifying tradition of good, old-fashioned, gather-round-the-fire barbecue
- 1⁄2 cup superfine sugar
- 4 tbsp. (2 oz.) unsalted butter
- 6 large firm-ripe red plums, halved All-purpose flour, for dusting
- One 14-oz. package frozen all-butter puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator
- 1⁄2 cup crème fraîche, mascarpone, or vanilla ice cream, for serving
- Preheat a kettle grill or oven to 350°. In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the sugar and butter; cook, stirring, until melted and evenly combined. Add the plums, cut side down, and cook without moving until the syrup begins to caramelize, 5–6 minutes.
- On a lightly floured work surface, fold the puff pastry's 2 short sides to meet at the center. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to about a 12-inch square. Trim the square to a 12-inch circle, then lay the pastry over the plums, tucking the edges down along the sides of the skillet. Cut a small hole in the center to allow steam to escape.
- Bake, covering the grill if using, until the pastry is golden and puffed and the juices are thick and bubbly, about 45 minutes. Set aside for 5 minutes to let the caramel settle.
- Cover the tart with a large overturned plate and carefully but quickly invert the pan to release the tart onto the plate. Remove the skillet (the cut sides of the plums should be facing up). Dislodge any stuck plums from the pan with a spatula and arrange them back on the tart. Slice and serve, topped with dollops of crème fraîche, mascarpone, or ice cream.