Greengage Tart

Greengage Tart

For those of you who aren’t sure, greengages are a variety of dessert plum with a taste somewhere between bitter and sweet. Green in colour and small in size, greengages are the quintessential cooking plum – though they are also enjoyable in their unadulterated form. Simply roast or reduce them with a sprinkling of sugar and they’ll work equally well in chutney, cake, puddings or a greengage tart.

When buying your greengages, ensure they aren’t too firm. One is usually able to predict how ripe a greengage is by its colour; the darker the greengage, the riper it is. Using under-ripe greengages, as with any fruit poses a couple of problems. Firstly, the taste of an under-ripe greengage is likely to be a little on the bitter side. Secondly, an under-ripe greengage is always less likely to surrender its “stone”, something likely to result in frustrating moments unwelcome in the kitchen of a pâtissier.

Greengage Tart

The season for greengages is relatively short, with only august and September getting a look in. However, strike while the iron is hot and buy yourself a kilo or two. At £2.09 per kilo (where I live), it’s difficult to go wrong and they’ll make you extremely happy to boot!

Greengage Tart

Serves 6-8


• 1 ball of freshly made shortcrust pastry

• 10-12 greengages, halved

• 125 ml double cream

• 2 eggs

• 4 tbsp sugar

• A little fresh nutmeg

• Icing sugar for dusting


1. Roll out, pop in the tin and blind bake your shortcrust pastry. Meanwhile, arrange your greengage halves on a baking tray, sprinkle with 1 tbsp of sugar and bake for 4-5 minutes at 180C, along with the pastry.

Greengage Tart

2. Lightly whisk two eggs, add the double cream, nutmeg and remaining sugar and mix thoroughly. Arrange the plums in the blind baked pastry case and carefully pour in the custard mixture.

3. Bake at 160C for 20-30 minutes, until the custard is set and ever so slightly golden brown. Leave to rest and sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

Greengage Tart

Cost: As mentioned above, seasonality strikes again with greengages being exceedingly cheap during the months of August and September. Indeed, so cheap is the fruit that this tart can easily be made for around £2.10!


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47 comments on “Greengage Tart

  1. gettysburggirl
    August 20, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Very interesting. I have never heard of or seen these in the US. Surely someone must grow them…

  2. thesinglegourmetandtraveller
    August 20, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    I love greengages raw and cooked and this tart looks delicious; a great way of enjoying them.

  3. cookinginsens
    August 20, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Looks great, Frugal! I’ve seen these plums in the market.

  4. Grace @ Cultural Life
    August 20, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    I haven’t seen any greengage plums in the shops recently but I have a purple plum tree in my garden (not sure of the variety…possibly Victoria). I think I’ll swap greengages for purple plums to make this tart. It looks great; nice and simple and low sugar too!

  5. Moira
    August 20, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    I haven’t seen these plums in the US either, but I’ll search for them at the farmer’s market. Your photos are looking better and better with each new posting… Did you take a class? Get a new lens? Nice work.

    • frugalfeeding
      August 26, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      Good luck! Thanks – no, never taken a class :). Nothing has changed. I guess you pick these things up.

  6. Our Growing Paynes
    August 20, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    A new ingredient to check out! Thanks for posting. :)

  7. tyrmi
    August 20, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    That looks delicious!

  8. Smedette
    August 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    I’ve never heard or seen these plums before – they are beautiful! This sounds sounds amazing; will be making it with some local fruit.

  9. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
    August 20, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    I’ve heard about greengages in UK cooking shows, but we don’t get them here. They sound like a fabulous ingredient! Great looking dessert, Nick! :)

    • frugalfeeding
      August 26, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      That’s a shame – I reckon any plum would be OK.

  10. Pear
    August 20, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    A whole greengage tart? Yes, yes I could, thank you for inviting me. (Kidding!)

    I adore greengages. They’re honeyed and succulent, putting them into a custard filling and buttery pastry sounds perfect. Thank you for the recipe, and the head’s up! I always seem to miss the season for these, but I’ll be sure not to this year.

  11. Michelle
    August 21, 2013 at 12:50 am

    I have never seen greengages in the States. And I do not understand it. But, lucky for me, I am usually in Europe in the fall and can gorge on them during their short season. Your tart looks grand, Frugal!

    • frugalfeeding
      August 26, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      Wonderful – perhaps they just haven’t made their way over. thanks.

  12. Bunny Eats Design
    August 21, 2013 at 12:56 am

    I’ve never eaten green plums. Because of this, I can’t help but imagine these to be sour or unripe. I’m sure they are lovely though. Good tips on the colour of these plums and how ripe they are. I would never have guessed that dark green equals ripe!

    • frugalfeeding
      August 26, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      Oh they are so delicious. I hope you try them.

  13. movita beaucoup
    August 21, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Custard AND plums? MONEY. Of course, I haven’t seen those plums in these here parts. But, there is a wonderful fruitique here – run by a Brit – and he brings in almost every fruit you can imagine. Stuff you can’t find anywhere else in the province. I bet he’s got ’em…

    • frugalfeeding
      August 26, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      Hah – indeed. I bet he does! Good luck in finding them.

  14. saucygander
    August 21, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    I’ve never seen these plums, but the tart looks wonderful!

  15. tomthebadger
    August 21, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Yum. Looks delish. I’ve got greengages in the garden, so this is going to get made! :)

  16. Mama's Gotta Bake
    August 21, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    So gorgeous!

  17. Crista
    August 22, 2013 at 4:25 am

    i’ve never seen a greengage plum….

  18. ohlidia
    August 22, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    My kind of pudding!

  19. Adri
    August 25, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    What a beautiful tart. We don’t see Greengages terribly often here in Southern California, but when I do see them I always grab a few for a tart. I imagine the combination of custard and fruit is simply delightful. I will have to try this. Thanks!

  20. grainnep
    August 26, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    I am ashamed to say I have not tasted these. Im going to rectify that soon. lovely pics too

  21. Maya Oryan
    August 26, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Greengage are very popular in Lebanon!

  22. lambyknits01
    August 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    I have never heard of greengages before and there are quite a few different ingredients you have shared before that are new to me. It’s just another one of the reasons why I enjoy your blog :) Thanks for sharing!

    • frugalfeeding
      September 18, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      My pleasure – definitely try and get your hands on some!

  23. Purely.. Kay
    August 30, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    I love green apples, so I already know this tart will be absolutely amazing. Definitely saving this for a later date :)

  24. bradfonseca
    August 30, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    I have nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks for creating such an interesting blog and for making me so hungry. :)

  25. liz macallan
    September 16, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    can it be frozen?

    • frugalfeeding
      November 12, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      Yes, but it may damage the custard a little – your call.

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