Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Almond Plum Tart

    Contrary to popular belief, almonds –not peanuts – are the most popular nut in world. Almonds are also extremely good for you. They are a rich source of calcium, magnesium, fiber, and most of the vitamins, as well as being the biggest barriers against cardiovascular disease and diabetes. I like to use that fact to justify eating more than one piece of this tart in one sitting. In this almond paste tart, plums and almonds work together in harmony, bringing sweetness and tartness in every bite.  Partially prebaking the tart crust allows the tart to stay soft when being served, while the crust itself will be golden brown and baked to perfection.

Almond Plum Tart

Yields 1 9" tart


1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
½ cup salted sweet cream butter (cut into small cubes)
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp heavy cream

1 cup skinned almonds
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
1 large egg
4 tbsp butter
4 medium plums

Start by making the dough for your crust. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and confectioners’ sugar. Add in the cubed butter, and use your fingers to coat and squeeze the butter until you have large crumbs. In a small bowl, mix together the egg yolks and cream. Pour the egg mixture into the crumbs and knead it together until you have a smooth ball of dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).

        Roll out your dough to an even thickness of about 1/8 of an inch. Transfer the dough to your 9 inch tart pan, and press it into the bottom of the pan. Trim around the edge of the pan so there is no dough hanging over. Put the tart pan with the dough in it into the freeze for 15 minutes. After that time is up, line the tart crust with a large piece of aluminum foil. Fill the foil-lined crust with uncooked rice or beans to weigh it down. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (until the crust is fully dried out). Remove the partially prebaked tart crust from the oven. 

        Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).

        In a food processor, blend the almonds with the sugar until the almonds are fine crumbs. Add the vanilla extract, almond extract, and egg, and blend again until fully combined. Slightly melt the butter, then blend in into the almond mixture.  Use a little spatula to spread the almond paste evenly around your tart crust.

         Cut the plums into quarters, and arrange them circularly on top of the almond paste. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the almond paste is set and golden. Cool until the swollen plums have gone down. Sprinkle raw sugar on top before serving.

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