Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Almond Plum Tart

Jumping ahead to summer again... this is one of our all-time favorite summertime desserts, a plum tart with frangipane filling. I have made it for several tea tastings and potlucks throughout the years, and it's always a hit! The slightly sweet almond paste gives it a satisfying richness, and the fruit topping is a refreshing counterpart. The filling also pairs well with many other fruits (cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines...), so feel free to experiment. Hmm, maybe I'll try rhubarb one of these days for a spring version!

Almond Plum Tart
(Adapted from Stone Fruit: Cherries, Nectarines, Apricots, Plums, Peaches by Cynthia Nims)
Serves 8-10

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup blanched* almonds
  • 6 TB sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (or your solid fat of choice), at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 pie crust (I usually use this classic recipe, with coconut oil)
  • 1-1.5 lbs ripe but firm plums
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare your pie crust and transfer to a tart pan.
  2. Put the almonds in a food processor or blender along with the sugar and flour, and process until the almonds are very finely ground. Add the coconut oil, almond milk, and almond extract, and pulse a few times to evenly blend, scraping down the sides as needed.
  3. Spread the frangipane evenly into the crust. It won't look like it is very full, but don't worry, it will puff up a bit when baking.
  4. If you want to make your tart look extra fancy, slice the plums and arrange in a lovely pattern atop the tart. If you are pressed for time, cutting the plums in half and placing them cut side up on top of the tart works just as well. If your plums are very tart, or you just want a little extra sweetness, sprinkle a tablespoon or two of sugar on top.
  5. Bake until the plums are tender and the pie crust is beginning to brown, 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then slice and enjoy warm or at room temperature.
*You can blanch raw almonds yourself by adding them to boiling water and cooking a few minutes until their skins become loose and they begin to float. Remove from hot water and allow to cool, then pop the almonds out of their skins, towel dry if they seem a bit damp, and proceed with the recipe.

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