This Plum Slab was also inspired by a conversation I had with Ammo pastry chef Roxana Jullapat. She spoke of a “cheaters” pie crust that is very tender and flaky made with equal parts by weight of cream cheese, butter and flour. I forgot to ask her a few questions such as do you make the dough in a food processor or by hand? Do you blend the ingredients together so they are a smooth mass or do you mix till you have crumbles? But I was in a bind and needed to make something in a half hour. So I plunged in and decided to mix the dough by hand, keeping it roughly blended. It ws neither crumbly (too much fat) nor a smooth mass.
Cream Cheese Dough
Makes 1 8”x6” Slab that serves up to 6
4 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces unsalted butter
4 ounces all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
Put all ingredients in bowl and mix together using a pastry cutter. When fat is well cut into the flour dump mixture onto a board and give a couple of quick kneads. Form into a puck shape, wrap in plastic and let rest in refrigerator while you prepare your fruit.
Topping + Assembly
4 ounces lemon quark or cream cheese flavored with lemon zest and a small squeeze of juice, slightly softened
4 plums (or other stone fruit)
2 Tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 425.
Cut the fruit into small wedges and put in bowl. Add sugar and let macerate while you roll out the dough.
Remove dough from refrigerator and roll it out into a rectangle about 8”x11”. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Imperfection will read as “rustic”. Slather the quark or flavored cream cheese over the dough leaving a half inch border. Lift fruit out of the accumulated juices in the bowl and arrange the wedges over the quark in any pattern you wish. Sprinkle liberally with sugar and drizzle juices over the slab.
Fold the border over to create a finished edge. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until crust is crisp and golden brown and fruit is soft. The cheese will have a few golden dots.