These beautiful, rustic tarts from author Susan Spungen have a supertender, terrifically tasty crust made with rye flour and cornmeal. They’re extremely easy on the cook because they can be made ahead at any stage: The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; the unbaked tarts can be refrigerated overnight; or the whole tarts can be baked and frozen, then reheated shortly before serving. Slideshow:  Fruit Pies and Tarts 

September 2014


Credit: © Johnny Miller

Recipe Summary

1 hr 25 mins
20 mins




Make the Dough
  • In a food processor, pulse both flours with the cornmeal, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size pieces of butter still visible. Sprinkle the ice water over the mixture and pulse until the dough just starts to come together; you should still see small pieces of butter. Scrape the dough out onto a work surface and gather it together. Quarter the dough and form into four 1/2-inch-thick disks. Wrap the disks in plastic and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, Prepare the Filling
  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add 1/3 cup of the sugar and the vanilla seeds and cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar turns light amber, about 1 minute. Add the apples and lemon juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid has evaporated and the apples begin to caramelize, 11 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool, then stir in the plums.

  • Preheat the oven to 400°. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each disk of dough to a 6-inch round, a scant 1/4 inch thick. Transfer the rounds to 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar with the flour and sprinkle evenly in the center of the dough rounds. Spoon the apple-plum filling over the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold the dough border over the filling, leaving the centers exposed. Lightly brush the tart rims with water and liberally sprinkle them with sugar.

  • Bake the tarts for about 35 minutes, until the crust is browned and the filling is bubbling. Let cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer the tarts to a rack and let cool completely, at least 30 minutes. Serve with crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream.