Sour Streusel Plum Tart

Resistance is futile! Give in to this sweet and sour dessert

Credit: Carolyn Herriot

Choose your plums wisely: the flavour boost will be worth it

This plum streusel recipe has been passed down through generations and deserves a spot in your dessert lineup

My granny passed this recipe onto my mother and thankfully she passed it on to me. This elegant sweet and sour streusel plum tart is a “five-star dessert” according to friends who can never resist a second piece.

The secret to success lies in the variety of plums – choose sweeter, fleshy plums rather than juicy ones that can make the tart too moist. Do I need to mention whipped cream?


  • 225 gr (8 oz.) butter, chilled
  • 225 gr (8 oz.) sugar, white granulated
  • 330 gr (12 oz.) unbleached white flour, plus 56 gr (2 oz.) extra for coating
  • 2 large eggs from happy chickens
  • 450 grams (1 lb.) ‘Damson’ or prune plums, halved, stones removed
  • 15 mL (1 Tbsp.) raw cane or brown sugar
  • 5 mL (1 tsp.) cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 205°C (400°F).
  2. Chop chunks of cold butter into a large mixing bowl. Add the white sugar and 330 gr (12 oz.) of flour. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, chop the butter into the flour mix until it begins to form a coarse crumb texture. Now, using your fingertips, work the coarser texture into a more uniform crumble. Beat eggs with a whisk and pour over the flour mixture in the bowl. Using a fork, stir in circles until a moist crumble forms. Sprinkle the remaining 56 gr (2 oz.) of flour over the moist crumbs in the bowl to coat them.
  3. Pour two-thirds of this mixture into a 30-cm (12 in.) spring-form cheesecake pan. Using your fingers, press over the bottom and five cm (2 in.) up the sides of the pan, evenly and not too thickly in any one spot.
  4. Put the plums in a separate bowl and sprinkle them with the brown sugar, lemon zest and cinnamon. Gently toss together so that the plums are well coated. Pour the plums over the crumble base in the pan. Spread the remaining third of the crumble evenly over the plums, finally tapping the pan gently on the counter to level crumbs right up to the edge of the pan.
  5. Reduce the heat to 175°C (350°F) and bake for 45 minutes in total. After 30 minutes, check the top for browning and cover with tin foil if necessary to complete baking. Leave to cool before removing the sides of the spring-form pan and serving.

Makes 12 slices of plum cake.