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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!


49 replies on “Greengage Tart”

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!

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.

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.

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!

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!

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…

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!

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!

[…] At their best and cheapest towards the tail-end of summer, now is the time to get involved with greengages. If you’ve never tried one, then what are you waiting for? Unfortunately, though they are plentiful in August and September, their season is relatively short; so it’s now or never if you fancy a spoonful of delicious greengage compote, sweetened with honey and served alongside a generous spoonful of Greek yoghurt. Really enthusiastic? You could go greengage crazy and serve it atop a slice of frugal Greengage Tart. […]

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