Plum Frangipane Tart has to be one of the tastiest tarts out there … and it looks mighty pretty too! Buttery, flaky shortcrust pastry tart shell is filled with sweet almond frangipane filling and then topped with the most beautifully coloured plum slices. Baked to golden perfection, this tart is divine served cold or warmed with a dollop of double cream.
This tart is a visual showstopper. The natural beauty of those sliced plums hands down turns this tart into a work of art. And to be honest, it isn’t a hard tart to make but I’ll tell you something …. if you produced this at the end of a meal for your friends and family, or brought it round to a mate’s house … you’d get a room full of ooohh’s and aaagh’s! Promise.
Shortcrust pastry time
One of my goals over the next couple of months is to improve my pastry making and develop my understanding of different types of doughs etc. So many recipes call for a food processor to bring the dough together, but I don’t have one and so i’ve got to master it by hand. I think that this will ultimately give me a better understanding for the feel of the dough and how it comes together.
So after a quick google I came across Jamie Oliver’s sweet short crust pastry
On the outset it looked simple enough to make and I’ve made it on quite a few occasions since. It’s a beautiful shortcrust pastry, buttery and crumbly once baked. It complimented the frangipane so well and each step of the recipe worked perfectly.
How to make the dough
- Make sure the butter and milk are cold
On your kitchen bench, pour your flour, icing sugar and lemon zest into a mound. Now add the cubed, COLD butter on top of the mound and with cold finger tips start pinching the butter and rubbing it together in between your finger tips. Keep doing this until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add your remaining wet ingredients
Make a well in your mixture and pour in your beaten eggs and the splash of milk. Use your fingers to mix the two together until the dough just starts to bind together.
- Knead the dough
Lift the dough and dust your work surface with flour to prevent sticking. Then lightly knead the dough until until it starts to form a ball and then use your hands to shape it into a flat round, kind of like a 2 cm thick pancake. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes minimum, ideally overnight.
- After refrigeration, it’s time to roll
Flour your bench top and a rolling pin, cut the dough from the fridge in half (save one half for another recipe, or freeze it), and then roll out the dough until it’s 3-4mm thick, rotating the disc whilst you roll. Next line a floured, fluted tart tin and cut any excess off with a sharp knife. Then prick the base all over with a fork
- Ready for blind baking
The pastry is now ready to be blind baked. To do this, line the pastry with baking paper and fill it with baking beans, or rice and dried lentils as an alternative, and bake in a pre-heated 180C (350F) oven for 15 minutes. Remove the baking paper and baking beans and bake for a further 5 minutes in the oven. Remove from the oven and let cool before brushing an egg wash onto the pastry prior to filling it. You now have a ready to go tart base.
NOTE: The dough made double the quantity for my rectangular tart tin so I used one half for the tart and froze the left over dough. It’ll be perfect for when I don’t want to go to the effort of making dough but want to create a tart at short notice.
I’ve always loved frangipane filling in a tart, as you can pair it with most fruits. Fill a galette or a tart base and top with fruit and you’ll find that the addition of this divine layer to your dessert will add the perfect nutty sweetness.
Made from a combination butter, sugar, eggs and ground almonds, the filling is essentially an almond pastry cream that the French and Italians traditionally use around Christmas.
Almonds pair so well with so many fruits and so the use of frangipane in a fruit tart creates a delectable end result.
To make the frangipane filling
- Cream the butter and sugar until pale.
- Add the eggs, vanilla extract, ground almonds and salt and stir until combined. Pour into the tart shell and level with the back of a spoon so the mixture fills up the pastry base a couple of mm from the top.
How to lay out the fruit on the Plum Frangipane Tart
We all eat with our eyes right? I’m such a firm believer in making something look as visually appealing as it tastes. All fruit is beautiful in it’s own right. That’s Mother Nature working her magic. But I wanted one where the colour was going to jump right out at you. As so I chose these beautiful in season plums.
With deep burgundy skin on the outside, I knew their colour flesh would be magnificent. And boy was I not disappointed! Would you look at the spectrum of colours spanning from bright orange through to deep, erm, plum colour!
To decorate your Plum Frangipane Tart
- Firstly, slice the plums in half and de-stone them.
- Secondly, place the open flat side down on your chopping board and then cut into thin slices. I then sorted the slices as per their colour (darkest to lightest), so that I could create an ombre effect on the tart.
- Starting from the outside of the tart, and with the darkest plum slice, start laying them next to each other on top of the frangipane mixture, pressing them down