The Dish | Plum Frangipane Tart

We’re at the point in the year when, in much of the East Bay, you can’t give away plums, there are so much backyard trees yielding ripe, juicy fruit. This tart makes the most of this summer bounty, pairing it with a simple prebaked tart shell and homemade frangipane.

  • 4.5 oz unsalted butter at room temperature
  • Scant 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1.5 cups white all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12-16 oz whole plums. Any plum with a tart skin and sweet flesh will work well, but Santa Rosa or Methley plums are especially delicious.
  • Optional: 1/4 cup sugar
  • For presentation: About a tablespoon of seedless dark fruit jam such as blackberry, plum, or blackcurrant 

For the frangipane:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 stick minus a tablespoon of salted butter at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Fine white rice flour (such as Koda Farms Mochiko) or all-purpose white flour as needed
  • Optional: 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the egg yolks and mix until just combined. Stir in flour and salt by hand until a soft, pliable dough forms. It will feel more like a stiff cake batter than pastry dough.
  • Press the dough into a deep (at least 1 inch) 9-inch pie pan. A straight-sided or slightly sloping metal pan with a removable base is ideal. Gently push the dough to cover the base and the sides evenly, making sure the dough reaches up the sides of the pan, as it will shrink as it bakes. Check that the dough covers the edge of the pan at the sides — it’s okay if it is a bit thicker here. If your pan is fluted, make sure the dough adequately covers the narrowest points in the sides of the pan (you don’t want to see a hint of metal).
  • Freeze the crust for at least an hour or until it is hard. 
  • Preheat an oven to 375′ Fahrenheit.
  • Remove crust from freezer and poke all over (sides and base) with a fork. Bake crust for 20-25 minutes or until golden, checking at around 10 minutes. If the crust has puffed up, gently press any pastry “bubbles” with the back of a spoon and return to the oven to finish baking. When the dough is ready, it will no longer have a translucent sheen. Remove crust from oven and set aside to cool at least 10 minutes.

While the crust is in the freezer, prepare the plums and the frangipane:

  • Chop the plums along one side, then turn and cut the next side, continuing around each plum up to the seed. The chunks of fruit will be different sizes. If the plums are more sour than slightly tangy, you can toss with the sugar. Set plums aside in a bowl.
  • Frangipane is a soft baked filling thickened with eggs. Traditionally made with almond flour, you can experiment with other nut flours or combinations of nut flours and almond flour. (Note: a nut flour is finely ground; almond, or other nut, meal is coarser and won’t provide the same silky mouthfeel that nut flour does.
  • Combine nut flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and salt in a food processor and pulse until smooth. The frangipane should be soft and thick; if it looks runny, add rice or all-purpose flour a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is no longer runny.
  • Set the frangipane aside, and when the prebaked tart shell has cooled slightly, pour frangipane into the pastry and smooth it over the base.
  • Scatter the plum pieces over the frangipane and bake the tart in the oven at 350′ for 30 minutes. Remove tart and use a brush to very lightly glaze the plums with jam. The heat of the tart should be sufficient to make the jam easily spreadable.
  • Let tart cool at least an hour before serving so the frangipane cools and sets. Serve with vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.

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