In Britain and Ireland, one upside as we leave summer behind and head towards winter is the bounty of fruits which become available. One of the favourites is, of course, the plum. From late August the plum puts in its appearance and a delight they are to see. The plum works so well in so many recipes and nowhere as lovely as in this Plum and Almond Tart.
A light crisp shortcrust pastry is filled with an almond cream mixture, known as frangipane. Top this with thick slices of fresh plums and you have both a delicious teatime treat, or a delicious pudding just waiting for a little custard or cream . If you like Bakewell Tart you are going to love this recipe.
- 1 quantity of shortcrust pastry
- For the Frangipane:
- 100g (3 ½ ounces) unsalted butter (softened)
- 125g (4oz) sugar (caster)
- 2 eggs (free range, fresh)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 50g (2oz) all-purpose flour
- 175g (6oz) almonds (ground)
- 10 plums (ripe and fresh
- 1 tablespoon sugar (caster)
- Garnish: icing sugar for dusting
Lightly grease a 23 cm/9 inch loose bottomed tart tin.
Roll out the pastry to an even thickness and line the tart tin. Cut away any excess, crimp the edges for decoration if you wish, then pop the lined tin into the fridge while you make the filling.
In a large baking bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, to do this you can use either a fork, whisk or electric hand whisk.
Beat the eggs in a separate bowl, add the vanilla extract then carefully, a little at a time, add the beaten egg to the creamed butter and sugar whisking continuously.
Sift the flour into the ground almonds, then, using a spatula or tablespoon carefully fold the ground almonds and flour into the creamed mixture until thoroughly incorporated.
Heat the oven to 175C/350/gas 4
Take the pastry case from the fridge and gently spoon the creamed almonds into the case and spread to fill - be careful not to be too heavy-handed and flatten out all the air from the mixture.
Halve the plums, remove the stone, then cut each plum into thick slices (about 6 - 8 per plum). Slightly overlapping each slice arrange in circles on top of the mixture, gently pushing each slice into the almond cream.
Place the filled tart into the centre of the preheated oven. Bake for between 45 and 50 minutes until the pastry and filling is cooked and golden, and the plums softened and released their juices into the cake. Watch the cooking, if the tart is cooking too quickly lower the temperature accordingly. If the plums are starting to overcook (and even worse, burn), lower the temperature or cover with foil.
Leave the tart to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then carefully remove and put onto a plate or cake stand.
Serve cold with a nice cup of tea or coffee, warm with, as mentioned before, a little custard or cream.