In these intense little tartlets, Chinese five-spice infuses ripe plums, and fresh ginger adds a peppery heat. Leave the puff pastry squares untrimmed to create a modern look to these sweet-and-sour tarts.
Five-Spice Plum Tartlets
1-inch (2.5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
4 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g) sugar
1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
Pinch of kosher salt
1 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
4 plums, pitted and cut into 1⁄2-inch (12-mm) cubes
1/2 sheet frozen puff pastry (about 1/2 lb./250 g), thawed
In a small bowl, stir together the ginger, butter, 3 Tbs. of the sugar, the flour and the salt.
In another bowl, mix together the remaining 1 Tbs. sugar and the five-spice powder. Add the plums, squeeze the juice from the lime half over the plums and toss together.
Place the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle with flour. Roll into a 12-by-8-inch (30-by-20-cm) rectangle about 1⁄8 inch (3 mm) thick. Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise, then cut each half crosswise into thirds; you should have six 4-inch (10-cm) squares. Brush off any excess flour from the dough. Prick the dough squares all over with a fork, then fit the squares into six 3-inch (7.5-cm) tartlet pans, pressing the pastry into the bottom and up the sides.
Spread about 1 1/2 tsp. of the ginger-butter mixture over the bottom of each tartlet, then top with the plums. Refrigerate the tartlets on a baking sheet for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Bake the tartlets on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C) and continue baking until the tartlets are puffed and browned around the edges, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on wire rack, then serve. Serves 6.
Find more mouthwatering ways to end a meal in our cookbook Dessert of the Day, by Kim Laidlaw.