NZ Woman's Weekly

Humble pie: Tart of Stone

  • Meal Type

  • Total time

    90 minutes
  • Servings

  • Courses

  • Occasion

    Special occasion

It really is a crime not to make the most of the last available plums lingering around in autumn. This little tart is a quick and easy dessert which really suits the red-fleshed varieties, such as Omega.

I found this recipe in an odd little book called Mother was a Good Cook, Too by writer Margaret Dunn.

It’s a beautifully crafted diary for her children, using recipes she compiled while living in New York, Geneva, London and India.

This one was inspired by the Swiss market stalls, which are usually filled with plums during the season, as well as the tradition of Jeûne genevois – a public holiday and day of prayer and fasting, when people could only eat a plum tart!

I personally think all mums should write a book like this for their children. In Nana’s day, she would have kept a cookbook full of cuttings and handwritten recipes.

This was handed down to her family, complete with the odd butter stain here and smear of chocolate there. What a lovely tradition.

But back to the plum tart.

I have changed the original recipe slightly because she puts on a huge amount of sugar at the end. I’ve put both amounts, so you can take your pick and indulge if you have a sweet tooth.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 100g butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, well-beaten
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ grated lemon rind

1. Sift the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Cream the butter and sugar until light. Add the eggs, beating the mixture until it is creamy. Add the lemon juice and rind, then stir in the flour mixture a little at a time.
2. Put the batter into a greased, flat cake tin or tart dish. (I used one 20cm in diameter.) Press the stoned, halved plums into the batter, cut side up and close together. Sprinkle ¼ cup sugar mixed with ½ tsp cinnamon over the top (Margaret used 1 cup of sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon). Bake in a 180ºC oven for one hour.

Do you have a Nana recipe you’d like to share with me? I’d love to hear about it. Email me at or write to Nana’s Pantry, NZWW, PO Box 90119, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142

Issue 1541

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