Plum-and-Port Crostata

1 8-inch crostata

Italian prune plums, a late-summer treat, are ideal for baking. Look for the small oblong plums at farmers' markets. The Thai chile imparts a subtle heat to the dessert.


  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface

  • 1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt

  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

  • 2 tablespoons ice water

  • 1 ½ cups ruby port

  • 1 ¼ cups packed light-brown sugar

  • ½ Thai chile, seeded and minced (optional)

  • 2 pounds Italian prune plums, halved and pitted

  • ¼ cup cornstarch

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon heavy cream, for brushing

  • Sanding sugar, for sprinkling


  1. Pulse flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the granulated sugar in a food processor. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. With machine running, slowly add ice water until dough comes together. Shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Fit into an 8-inch pie dish, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Freeze for up to 30 minutes.

  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Simmer port and 1/2 cup brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add chile if desired. Cover, and let cool for 10 minutes.

  4. Stir together remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar and teaspoon salt, the plums, cornstarch, cinnamon, and port syrup. Transfer to pie shell. Fold in overhang to form a crust; brush crust with cream, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake for 30 minutes; reduce oven to 375 degrees. Bake until golden and center is bubbling, about 45 minutes more. Let cool.

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