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Plum and Almond Tart

Plum and Almond Tart

Local plum season is going, going, almost gone, so we thought we’d share a heavenly recipe for a tart that showcases the plump little purple beauties before their prime has passed. The almonds here are transformed into a simple frangipane; that divinely nutty pastry cream that perfectly plays off the sweet tang of the plums. I don’t know what it is about this super pretty plum and almond frangipane tart, but it never fails to arouse sighs and recipe requests.

Don’t let the words Pâte Sablée (sweet dough) and frangipane (almond pastry filling) scare you away from this recipe. Fancy names don’t make them any harder to prepare. We have replaced refined sugar with the natural sweetener Sucanat, which adds more nutrients as well as a deeper flavor. And yes there are a few steps involved in preparing this tart, but they are all simple and the result is so worth it.

INGREDIENTS

For the Pâte Sablée
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup Sucanat (see Hints)
8 ounces unsalted organic butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon salt

For the Frangipane
1 cup whole blanched almonds, finely ground
½ cup Sucanat (see Hints)
1 stick unsalted organic butter, room temperature
1 egg plus 1 egg white
2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
½ vanilla bean, halved and scraped (or ½ tablespoon vanilla extract)
2 teaspoons almond extract

For the Rest
1 pound small plums, washed, halved and pitted (for larger plums, quartered)
2 tablespoons raw sugar
¼ cup sliced almonds for garnish

PROCEDURE

For the Pâte Sablée
1. Mix flour, Sucanat and salt in a food processor until combined.
2. Add the butter and pulse until butter pieces are pea-size.
3. Add egg yolk and pulse until dough begins to clump—stop before it makes a ball.
4. Press dough into a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and trim top of dough. (There will probably be some left over.) Chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights (or dried beans) and bake tart shell for 10 minutes, remove foil and weights and bake for another 10 minutes.

For the Frangipane

1. Put butter and Sucanat in food processor and combine well.
2. Add ground almonds until combined.
3. Add flour and cornstarch, then egg and egg white and process until very smooth (the Sucanat will still be a little grainy).
4. Add vanilla and almond extract just to blend.

To Assemble
1. Spread frangipane in tart shell.
2. Arrange plums, cut sides up, on top of frangipane—a spiral or concentric circles are pretty, and gently press them in.
3. Sprinkle with raw sugar and place in 350 degree oven.
4. Bake about 45 minutes or until golden.
5. Remove and let cool on a wire rack—sprinkle with sliced almonds before serving.

Read more: Food, All recipes, Desserts, , , , ,

By Melissa Breyer, Producer, Care2 Green Living

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

1 comments

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1:06AM PDT on Sep 7, 2011

Love the tart recipe. It sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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