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Hungarian Plum Tart

by Jayne Cohen

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

20 to 24 fresh prune plums, pitted and quartered, or 6 to 8 pitted black plums, cut into sixths or eighths (depending on size of plums)
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
About 1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using margarine)
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter or pareve margarine, melted, plus additional for greasing the pan

Optional accompaniment: vanilla or coffee ice cream or freshly whipped heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In greased 13 by 9-inch baking dish, arrange plums cut-side up in a single layer. Stir together brown sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl, and sprinkle the mixture over plums. In large bowl, using a fork, blend together granulated sugar (use up to 2 tablespoons less than 1 cup if you prefer, as I do, a less sweet dessert or if plums are particularly sweet), remaining 1 cup flour, baking powder, salt, egg, and almond extract until mixture resembles coarse meal. Crumble it over plums. Drizzle melted butter or margarine over all and bake tart in middle of oven for 35 to 45 minutes until plums are tender and topping is golden.

Serve tart at room temperature, accompanied by ice cream or whipped cream, if desired. It is also wonderful warm from the oven, especially with the cool contrast of ice cream.

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