a new normal + a plum tart

August 5th, 2013

Wow. It’s been a long time and a crazy journey since I was here but it feels so good to be back. I’m happy to say that after 55 days in the hospital, my sweet daughter Claire is doing so much better. Thank you for all the kind words and thoughts sent our way—it really meant the world to me and my family. 

We’ve been home for a few weeks now and things are beginning to feel normal again—of course it’s a new normal, but one I’m pretty jazzed about that. I’m not only seeing things through a new lens as a mother, but also as a Californian—it’s so fun (on both accounts)! When we arrived home, the tree outside our window that had little green berries on it a few months ago was now laden with deep red plums, some of which literally fell into my window when I opened it. Umm, yeah, that’s kind of awesome. After getting adjusted to our new routine, it seemed high time that I pick some of those plums and start whipping up some tasties. I got a few suggestions on instagram and my sweet tooth won—a simple plum tart was the first one and sounded like a perfect way to ease back into the swing of things while using up some of those plums. Ok, and it sounded pretty dang delicious. Lucky for all of us, it lived up to my expectations. 

One of the biggest lessons I learned while Claire was in the hospital was to savor the small things. There were days when I dreamt about simply sitting on my couch with my family, or even better, I loved dreaming about all the adventures we could go on together—from a walk down the street exploring the crazy botanicals California has to offer to taking a trip to Point Reyes together. These things got me through the crazy— I just had to believe that they were more than just dreams, that they were really going to happen. Standing in my kitchen this week picking plum, I felt so thankful that I was able to be in my kitchen, not only look at, but pick awesome fruit, and actually bake something—(there was no kitchen in our hospital life). This tart was like a welcome-back-to-life-tart and man, it tasted good.

Like my favorite recipes, this is simple, delicious, and perfect for sharing. Even if you don’t have a plum tree in your backyard, I think you’ll enjoy it too.

plum tart

adapted from Ina Garten’s Plum Tart recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), diced
1 egg yolk
about 12 plums, pitted and quartered lengthwise


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

1. Combine the flour, walnuts, cinnamon, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter and the egg yolk. Mix, either by hand or with an electric mixer, until crumbly.

2. Press 2 cups of the crumb mixture in an even layer into the bottom of a 9 1/2-inch springform or tart pan. Arrange the plums in the pan, skin side down, to form a flower pattern; begin at the outside and work your way in.

3. Sprinkle the rest of the crumb mixture evenly over the plums. Bake the tart for 40 to 50 minutes, or until it’s lightly browned and the plum juices are bubbling. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer the tart to a flat plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Comments: 13 Total

  1. Kasey

    August 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    So glad that Claire is doing well, and so happy to see you back here, and enjoying the new normal. Pretty soon it will just be normal :) It’s always nice to get those reminders in life…to enjoy the small things, and savor the most important thing: the people we love and the comforts of home. x

  2. Shanna

    August 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Oh, I’m so happy to hear this! I can only imagine how much sweeter everything looks when you’ve been waiting months to be in it again. So thankful Claire is home and getting better every day. Hooray!

  3. Nicole

    August 5, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    So glad you’re back and happy to hear Claire is doing better! Oh, to have plums falling in my window :) This tart looks wonderful.

  4. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    August 5, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    So happy to hear your girl is doing better!! And this is such a lovely tart to celebrate with :)

  5. Hayley

    August 5, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    I’m so very glad to hear you’re home and settling into your new normal. 55 days is a long, scary time, I’m sure!

  6. Rebecca

    August 6, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    So so happy you and Claire are home and that she’s doing well. New normal, indeed. May it be more wonderful than any normal that came before. Hugs to you all.

  7. Carlinne @Cook with 2 Chicks

    August 7, 2013 at 6:33 am

    Welcome back! The pictures of this plum tart are absolutely gorgeous; I’m eager to try it in my own kitchen.

  8. Sara

    August 7, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    The plum tart looks beautiful and delicious, but it pales in comparison to the more important news that your little girl is doing better. Wonderful news, and I am so glad you can enjoy both of them at home

  9. Rachel Limberopoulos

    August 7, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Nothing smells and feels more like home than baking :) I’m sure it’s one of the many wonderful things Claire will remember from her childhood! So glad she’s home <3

  10. Freddi

    August 8, 2013 at 5:38 am

    So glad to hear you and the family doing well! It’s good to have you back :)

  11. Kim

    August 10, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    I have been checking your blog daily for MONTHS and praying that your daughter is ok. I am THRILLED to read this post. Welcome back to life, man! Tart looks amazing.

  12. Lisa

    August 21, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Was so happy to see this post. Welcome back and a big YAY for Claire’s improving health!

  13. Alicia

    November 18, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    I’m just getting caught up on your blog and am so happy to hear that you’ve become a mother and all is well with Claire. Our daughter was born with a very minor heart defect and it shook me to my core. I can’t imagine what you’ve gone though but am so glad that you’re back!

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