Plum Tart – Alsatian Tarte aux Quetsches

This is one of the constants of my childhood. In Alsace, where I grew up, questches or damson plums are very abundant at the end of summer. Damson plums are quite tart and mainly used to make jams, tarts and schnapps (German Gin). In this recipe, I’ve substituted damson plums for sweeter and more common sugar plums.


Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 8


  • 1 pack of Puff or Vanilla Shortcrust Careme Frozen Pastry
  • 1.3kg of firm sugar plums
  • 2tb spoons of white sugar
  • 2tb spoons of bread crumbs
  • Ground cinnamon (to dust)

Step 1 – Pit the plums: Wash the plums and pat them dry with paper towels. Cut them in half following the natural vertical line and remove the seed*. Then split the top of each half plum as shown in this photo:

Step 2 – Prepare the pastry: Rub a 22cm tart pan* with butter and lay the pastry down into its place. Using a fork, poke holes throughout the whole surface of the pastry. It is called “pricking” and it will prevent the pastry from bubbling. Pre-heat oven at 220 degrees.

Step 3 – Assemble the tart: Dust 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs and half a tablespoon of sugar over the pastry. The breadcrumbs will absorb excessive fruit juices and prevent the pastry from becoming soggy*. Then, place each half plum next to each other as vertically as possible. The photos below should be self-explanatory:

Finally, dust the tart with 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon to taste.

Step 4 – Cook the tart: Cook the tart in the oven at 220 degrees for 40 minutes or until the tips of the plums are slightly charcoal.

Step 5 – Serve: This tart is delicious on its own, but a scoop of vanilla or cinnamon ice cream would complement it well.

Wine Match

Enjoy with a dessert wine.

*Did you Know?

  • Different materials of tart pans will give you very different results. I am pleased with my Anolon Loose Base Tart Pan; It works wonders at producing evenly brown, firm and crispy pastries. And the loose bottom means that I never break a tart when transferring it onto a serving platter. If you are going to buy a new tart pan then I recommend you choose one in heavy gauge metal as it is efficient at evenly transferring heat and therefore produces better results.
  • Choose firm sugar plums or you might find it difficult to cut and seed them. Make sure you slice them open right in the middle as it will make the seed easier to remove. Once sliced, hold each side of the plum in each hands and twist it open. The seed will be left on one side. Then, you might have to use your fingers to dig the seed out.
  • To avoid soggy fruit tarts, add bread crumbs or almond powder at the bottom of the tart. It will absorb excessive fruit juices.
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12 Responses to Plum Tart – Alsatian Tarte aux Quetsches

  1. emmycooks says:

    That looks beautiful! I will try to remember that method when my plums ripen in our summertime. 🙂

  2. Chloé says:

    A piece of art!

  3. Madeleine Murray says:

    Love all the photos of each step and clear instructions. I’m going to try the tart this weekend.

  4. Madeleine Murray says:

    I made the tart on Sunday and it was amazing. I served it with Barambah Vanilla Bean yoghurt. My plums (with purple skin) were too big to cut like yours, so I sliced them and stood the slices up around in a circle. I used the Careme pastry (brilliant) but am now making a second tart as I have to use it up (as you mentioned in your blog). Do you live near Bondi? I have some French TV journalists staying here until early April, it would be nice to meet you.

  5. Clem says:

    Waoouh, wonderful . Beautiful picture & it seems delicious

  6. Pingback: Simple & Delicious Pear Tart | frenchfoodiedownunder

  7. Madeleine Murray says:

    It’s me again. I have made this tart about 10 times now, it’s brilliant. So easy to make, and looks great. You can use different fruits according to the season. The Careme pastry is great, there is just enough in the package for two tarts.

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