It’s Plum Delicious!

I hate to say “many”, but more than a few years ago I assisted Zoë François in a “Summer Pies and Tarts” class she was teaching.  Well, just last week I was flipping though my stacks and stacks of recipes and came upon the booklet from that class.

With plum season upon us and remembering that I had not baked this tart for some time; it was now or never.  Otherwise, it would be yet another year, as the plums would be gone again until next season.

The filling, in which the fruit is nestled, is called “frangipane”.   It is made with a mixture of almond paste, sugar, a couple of eggs, butter, and a little flour to bind it all together.

Also, if you want, you can skip the poaching of the fruit all-together.  The added flavors though, in doing so, is something I would highly recommend.  Instead of using champagne, I used Prosecco to poach the plums.  Once poached, place them cut side down on top of the frangipane filling.

Serves 8 – 10
1 tart dough recipe*
1 frangipane recipe*
10 plums, ripe but not too soft
1 bottle Prosecco
2 cups water or just enough to cover fruit
1 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split

Preheat oven to 350°F

Blind bake the tart shell (see the recipe below).  While it is baking wash, pit, and halve the plums, set aside.

If poaching the plums, bring the Prosecco, water, sugar and vanilla bean to a boil; cook until sugar has dissolved and then reduce to a simmer.  Add plums, cooking until fruit is just tender.  If the fruit is very ripe, reduce liquid by 1/4 of the total volume before adding fruit. Check fruit for tenderness using a paring knife; plums should still have some resistance.  If allowed to cook too long, the fruit will fall apart. Remove plums from liquid with a slotted spoon.  Reduce cooking liquid to the consistency of maple syrup.  Remove from heat.

After tart shell is blind baked, fill with the frangipane batter, about 1/4-inch thick.  Arrange plums on top of the frangipane, cut side down.

Bake for 40 – 50 minutes or until the frangipane is golden brown.   Glaze the tart with the Prosecco glaze and allow to cool to room temperature.

*Pate Sucrée – (Tart Dough)
8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 whole egg, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cake flour

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until smooth.  Add the egg and yolk and mix until well incorporated.  Add salt and flours and mix just until incorporated.

Remove dough from mixer and form into a disk.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before rolling out.  The dough can also rest in the refrigerator overnight or it can be wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months.  If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before rolling out.

When ready to make the tart, roll out to a diameter of 12-inches and form into a 10-inch tart shell.

Dock the bottom with a fork and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Remove from freezer and place on a sheet pan.  Line tart dough with foil or parchment paper and add weights.

Bake for about 20 minutes.  Remove weights and paper and continue to bake until lightly browned.  Remove from oven.

*Frangipane Batter
7 ounces almond paste (Odense is the brand I prefer)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
¼ cup cake flour, sifted

Mix almond paste, sugar and butter in a food processor until smooth.

Add eggs one at a time and then add the flour.

Set aside while tart shell is baking.

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