Hipster Cupcake and a pluot tart

I got a cake-decorating kit a couple days ago (Amazon Prime is a dangerous thing), and when Tara mentioned something about the “hipster cupcake trend,” I realized that the mini-cupcakes I had just made had some humor (and deliciousness) potential.  This one is dedicated to anyone who can pull off skinny jeans and plaid, ’cause I certainly can’t.

This is the only evidence left to suggest hipster cupcake ever existed, save for an empty-but-jaunty purple wrapper in my garbage.  RIP hipster cupcake, 09/23/10-09/23/10.  You only lived for about five minutes, but your legacy will continue.

Let’s hope my icing skills get better, though.  The ones that didn’t involve writing turned out pretty well.

When it comes to baking, I normally focus on tarts, tortes, and savory treats (like my provolone popovers).

My mom is an avid gardener, and always has an abundance of fruit in the summertime.  This year, she had an unbelievable amount of pluots (plum/apricot hybrid) on her tree.  The tree has three different grafts, so it produces three different varieties.  So when she dropped off an untold number of pluots with me, I decided the best way to showcase their beautiful color and sweet/tart flavor was to make a tart.  (Well – and a couple of crisps and some pluot jam, too.)

Like my apple tart, I followed Alice Waters’ recipe, but this time omitted the glaze at the end.  The pluots were quite ripe at that point, and unlike granny smith apples, I didn’t feel like the tart would benefit from the extra liquid or sugar.    Instead, I brushed the fruit thoroughly with butter, and sprinkled it with sugar, then a bit of salt post-baking.

Pluot tart, pre-baking

It turned out quite well – the buttery crust and the salt were a great foil for the fruit, and as you can see from the pre-baked tart on the right, the colors of the fruit make for a pretty cheerful dessert.  (I left part of the crust unfolded so you can see the yellow pluots, which were nearly hidden when the crust was folded – a damned shame.)  It’s a deceptively simple dessert that really benefits from good-quality ingredients.

I probably should have taken better pictures, but my cell phone was handy, whereas my point-and-shoot was, like, all the way across the room.

My +1 rated it something along the lines of “nom nom nom” and “mmmm, pluots.”

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