After a much needed weekend catching up with all the family in Bath last weekend I’m finally caught up on all the bits and bobs that needed doing around the flat (and my sleep after some early morning get ups – a three hour coach to bath did not provide the best sleeping environment) I’m finally ready to sit down and talk pastry with you – it’s a hard job but someones got to do it!
Since me and my sister hadn’t seen everyone since our birthdays last month we managed to get a few late presents and I just LOVE mine. A very useful rubber spatula from my older sister and my excitement at it made me acknowledge that I am definitely not a student anymore and am edging ever closer to the mid-twenty mark – that’s going to take some getting used to. My parents treated me to Articulate (the best party game going) that I can’t wait to crack out with friends at the weekend; and possibly my favourite present this year: the Hemsley & Hemsley cookbook. As I’m giving up sugar for lent this year and all the recipes are refined sugar free, I can’t wait to start making my way through the book and sharing how it goes with you all.
Okay so I know the picture above doesn’t sell this tart as the most appetising dessert, and it kind of goes against last week’s healthy kick post, but I’m still desperately making my way through a back log of recipes from the summer and since January is over, most people must be allowed a big hug in the form and pastry and frangipane right?
After receiving a glut of plums from my granny last year that spent a good while sat in the freezer, it was decided they would be put to good use in some form of pudding, and after my bakewell tart, went down so well with my dad and sister, it made sense to incorporate them into something with a frangipane filling. If you’re short on plums, you can replace them with any soft fruit: pears, apples, cherries or apricots work just as well!
Ingredients (Serves 8-10)
For the pastry:
180g Plain Flour
90g Unsalted Butter, cold and cubed
1 Tbsp Icing Sugar
For the filling:
125g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
125 Caster Sugar
1 Large Egg, beaten
½ Tsp Almond Extract
125g Ground Almonds
4 Large, Ripe Plums
For the pastry:
Add the flour, butter and icing sugar into a food processor and blitz quickly until the butter starts to form small lumps. Add half of the beaten egg and carry on blitzing for a few seconds or until the mixture is starting to come together. If the pastry still looks a little crumbly after 15-20 seconds then add a little more egg.
Once the pastry has come together to form a smooth dough, take it out of the processor, press into a circular disk about 2cm thick then wrap it in cling film and leave in the fridge for it to chill for at least 30 minutes.
Whilst the pastry is chilling in the fridge, grease a 20cm deep, loose-bottomed tart tin with butter and leave to one side.
When you’re ready to use the pastry, remove it from the fridge and place between two sheets of cling film (this is so much easier than rolling it on a floured surface). Roll the pastry out to a large circle (about 5mm thick) that will line both the base and sides of the tin.
Remove the top layer of cling film and carefully flip the pastry over the tart tin, so it can be gently pressed into the edges of the tin (the bottom layer of cling film should still be attached). Once fitted into the tart tin, cut the excess pastry from the edges of the tin with a sharp knife so it has a neat finish.
Remove the remaining layer of cling film and prick the base all over with a fork before chilling the pastry again in the fridge for 30 minutes, or 10 minutes in the freezer.
Whilst the pastry is chilling, you can prepare the filling.
* Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
Add the butter and sugar to a medium sized mixing bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy.
Add the beaten egg and almond extract to the butter and sugar and beat together until well combined. Stir in the ground almonds.
Remove the chilling pastry from the fridge, pour the frangipane mix into the tart case and smooth over the top with a spatula or the back of a dessert spoon.
Finally, cut the plums in half and remove the stones. Cut each half in two again and place each quarter (skin side down) into the frangipane mixture in whatever pattern takes your fancy.
Place the tart in the centre of the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, until the tart is golden brown and firm to the touch. If the top of the tart or the plums starts browning too much, cover the tart loosely with foil to prevent them from burning.
Once baked, remove the tart from the oven and leave to cool in its tin for 10 minutes. After these 10 minutes, carefully remove the tart from its case and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Just like my bakewell tart, this tart tastes lovely with a dollop of crème fraiche or whipped cream on the side for a tasty afternoon treat!
The tart will keep for 3-5 days stored in an air tight container.