The first signs of Autumn are here – cooler evenings, acorns dropping, the scent of ripe apples everywhere – and generous neighbours with offerings of zucchini, tomatoes, flowers and baskets full of plums

If I had more time (and our kitchen reno was finished) I’d love to be making plum sauce – but because time is precious at the moment and my resources limited – this recipe for a simple free form fruit tart is the perfect way to use up abundant seasonal fruit.

The pastry is brilliant – short, with a hint of sweetness, but not too much – you could use it for any number of fruit crostata. And the recipe doesn’t require any special ingredients, equipment or skill – it is simple cooking at its finest.

2 hour prep/resting 


  • 6 ripe blood plums
  • 3 tbsp coarse raw sugar
  • 1 egg – whisked


  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp chilled water
  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 25g castor sugar pinch of salt
  • 185g unsalted butter, cut into 1cm cubes and frozen for 30 minutes


  • To make the pastry, crack the egg into a bowl and whisk with the cold water
  • Place the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the beaten eggs, and pulse until just combined. Place on a clean bench and bring the mix together with your hands (there should still be some lumps of butter) to make a smooth dough. Shape into a disc, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Remove dough from fridge. Lightly flour and roll into a large round about 3mm thick. Place on a lined baking tray and refrigerate until needed.
  • Cut plums into 6-8 wedges and toss gently with 1 tablespoon of the raw sugar in a medium bowl. Remove pastry from fridge, place plums into the centre of the pastry leaving a 2cm border all around. Working quickly, fold the pastry over the fruit, pleating as you go, leaving a large opening at the top. Refrigerate on the tray for at least half an hour before baking.
  • When you are ready to cook the crostata, preheat oven to 200˚C (180˚C fan-forced). Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and sprinkle pastry and exposed plums with the remaining raw sugar. Bake for 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden. If the pastry is getting too dark, reduce temperature to 170˚C (150˚C fan-forced). When you think the pastry is ready, remove from oven and, using a spatula, lift slightly and gently. If the base has not coloured or crisped up, return to oven for another 10 minutes and check again. It is key that the base is golden to prevent it becoming soggy.

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Piper Street Food Co
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In the heart of the historic Victorian Central Highlands, the Piper Street Food Co. is known for their recreation of food and dishes that have been passed down across generations.