Queen of plums! Greengages, or reine claudes as they are called in their native France, are my absolute favourite plums. Succulent honeysuckle sweetness and so juicy they almost burst when you bite into them. They are as delicious raw as they are baked in a tart, pie or cooked to a jam.
I paired the little green plums with a Chinese Oolong tea that also has those wonderful floral, honeyed notes, yuzu juice for a citrusy, floral tang and honey powder.
Greengage tarts with oolong, yuzu and honey
125g butter, softened
50g icing sugar
1/8 tsp. vanilla powder
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1/2 tsp. salt
175g all purpose flour
Beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla powder until creamy. Beat in the egg yolk until fully incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour and salt. Slowly mix in the flour until just coming together. Be careful not to overwork the dough.
Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for at least an hour.
Roll out the dough to about 3-4mm thickness, cut four 15cm circles and transfer to four 7,5cm tart rings. Gently press the dough into the tart rings and trim the edges. Return the tart rings to the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 175C and line the tarts with foil. Fill with dry beans or rice and blind bake for 12 minutes. Remove the weights and foil and bake until goldenbrown, about 6-8 minutes more.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
Earl grey pastry cream
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
25g granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
65ml heavy cream
65ml strong Oolong tea
Pinch of salt
10g unsalted butter, room temperature
Make the pastry cream by whisking together the sugar and cornstarch. Mix in the egg yolks and set aside. Warm up heavy cream and oolong tea until steaming hot. Pour about 1/3 of the warm tea mixture into the egg yolks. Whisk to temper the egg yolks, before pouring the egg mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat while whisking rigorously until the pastry cream thickens into a luscious, glossy pudding.
Yuzu poached greengages
50g mild honey
1/2 Tbsp. yuzu juice
12 greengages, halved and pitted
Combine honey, yuzu juice and water in a saucepan over medium low heat and simmer until the honey is dissolved. Add the greengages, remove from heat and leave for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the poaching liquid and leave to cool. Reduce the poaching liquid to a thick syrup.
Transfer the pastry cream to a piping bag and fill the tart shells with the cream. Cut the greengage halves in quarters and arrange decoratively on top of the oolong cream. Brush the plums with a little of the honey-yuzu syrup and dust with honey powder, if you have. If not – they still taste amazing without!