Betty Bakery is the retail manifestation of the considerable talents of Cheryl Kleinman and Ellen Baumwoll, two cake decorators who have run their businesses out of the production space behind Betty for years. Kleinman and Baumwoll (for whom, full disclosure, we worked as a summer intern in 2006) opened Betty in 2006, and steadily endeared themselves to their neighbors with an array of both French and all-American pastries.
During a recent visit, we were nearly swayed by the twinks and ring-a-dings, the bakery’s pneumatic riffs on Hostess snacks. But then we laid eyes on the plum tart ($4.25). They may not be seasonal, but Lord, it’s nice to see plums in January, particularly when they’re embedded in a golden, flaky crust.
The plums in the tart are as soft and juicy as they look, and practically dissolve upon contact with the tongue. Wisely, there’s little to distract from their sweet, slightly tart flavor — it’s just them and the crust, a buttery, savory concoction stippled with raw sugar. The sugar adds even more crunch to the crust, and just enough sweetness to enliven the fruit without being cloying. The textural contrast between the crust and its plush cargo is slightly dizzying, and an excellent antidote to seasonal affective disorder.
The tart is an ideal size for two people to share, but, like anything that fits into the average palm, it’s also ideal for scarfing alone. Opt for the former, and you’re in Skinny-ish Jeans territory; choose the latter, and you’re squarely in the land of the Unbuttoned Mom Jean. But don’t worry: You look good in plum.
448 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
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