A plum tart and a friendship

A very dear family friend, Annegret Widman, passed away last year. It still feels unreal. She was a quiet person, she always spoke the essential. Funnily enough, she had an excellent command of all bad words (believe me, Mexican bad words are really difficult to use because most of them derive from the same root) and she used them selectively with brio and the characteristic charm of those whose first language is German and their second Spanish Mexican. She had a deeply compassionate personality when it came to animals. She loved horses, parrots and had a soft spot for cats and great danes. 

During the summer of 2004 she taught her daughter Elena and myself some of the practices she had learnt in India during the 60’s in her own garden in Cholula. I remember those days were really hot and the yoga poses really challenging and invigorating. I now realise that I never asked her who her teachers were or where in India did she learn those practices, but as I said before she was very reserved and she never really spoke much about her life and her travels around the world.

Although Annie had strong German roots, she loved Mexico and she truly enjoyed Mexican food. No Sunday would go by without her visiting the street food memelas stands in front of the Pyramid of Cholula. I don’t think I ever tasted any German dishes in her house. However, twice a year, she would bake a scrumptious plum or apple tart for each of her daughters’ birthdays. She accompanied the tarts either with vanilla ice or whipped cream. Her daughter Luvi gave me the recipe and I’d like to share it with you. I have added some extras that I found really useful in Lakshmi’s blog Pure Veg, but the recipe that I am sharing with you  is essentially based on Annie’s recipe.

CRUST & CRUMBLE

250 gr plain flour

150 gr salted butter

2 teaspoons baking powder

4 /5 cups of brown sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoon of milk

ON TOP

12 deseeded plums cut in fine slices

3 tablespoons of brown sugar

1/2 dl oranges juice

¼ tsp nutmeg powder

1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven for 20 or 30 minutes. To prepare the crust and crumble mix all dry ingredients. Make small cubes with the butter and begin to mix it with all dry ingredients with your fingers. Keep your hands on the surface and from time to time, combine the crumbs with the rest of the mix underneath. Take aside half of the mix for the crumble. Add an egg to the half that you will use for the crust. If it feels a bit dry add 2 tablespoons of milk. Place it in the fridge, cover and let it rest for half an hour. Roll out the dough and place it on a tart form. To prepare the filling and top, place the plums with the skin facing toward the crust. Start placing the plums around the edge of the form and continue until you cover the whole surface. Mix the orange juice, spices and sugar, and pour it as evenly as possible over the plums. For the crumble mix you can decide whether you would like to add more sugar or more butter so that the crumbs are bigger or smaller depending on how you like it. Sprinkle the crumble over the plums and bake at 200 C for 1/2 hour or until the crumble looks golden. You can accompany with vanilla ice or whipped cream.

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