gift of nothing – french plum tart

gift of nothing – french plum tart

It’s been a rather quiet week with few pressing matters, so I got to settle into the groove of baking and use this perfect opportunity to come up with a fresh list of desserts. More time in the kitchen may not sound exciting, but when baking is usually squeezed between errands and obligations, an empty schedule is a gift.

With fall bringing cooler temperatures, we all return to our lists of comfort foods. For me, it always means something with a crust–and the use of my favorite nut, almonds. With the addition of plum, this tart defines cozy.


French Plum Tart


Pâte Sucrée

1 large egg, room temperature

1 large egg yolk, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups (10 ouches) all-purpose flour

16 tablespoons (8 ounces/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, frozen

1/4 cup (1-3/4 ounces) granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Plum Frangipane Filling

1/2 cup whole almonds

6 tablespoons (2-3/8 ounces) granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

6 tablespoons (3 ounces/3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 tablespoons almond paste

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

6-8 plums, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch wedges

1/2 cup apricot jam

2 tablespoons brandy or water

2 tablespoons granulated sugar, for sprinkling


Pâte Sucrée

1. Combine egg, egg yolk and vanilla in a small bowl, whisk to combine, set aside.

2. Place flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor, pulse until combined and aerated, about five 1-sec pulses. Add frozen butter and pulse until butter is the size of peas. Add egg mixture until combined. Test the dough by squeezing with your fingers, if it holds, it’s done. (If you let dough come together into a ball, you have over worked the dough).

3. Divided dough into 2/3 and 1/3 onto two large piece of plastic wrap. Gather each dough into a 6-inch disc by pulling up sides of plastic wrap and press lightly with your knuckles. Wrap dough with the plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold but malleable, about 45 minutes.

Note: Refrigerate (up to 2 days) or freeze (up to 6 months) the 2nd disc. If you like a thinner crust, divide dough into two even size discs and use one for this recipe.

4. Roll the larger dough on lightly floured surface into 13-inch circle  and transfer to tart pan. Press dough into corners and sides of pan, being careful not to stretch dough. Trim overhang of dough with small pairing knife. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Plum Frangipane Filling

1. Adjust the oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 375℉.

2. In a food processor, pulse almonds, sugar and salt until finely ground. Add butter and process to combine. Add eggs and continue to process. Add extracts, almond paste and process to combine. Add flour and pulse until combined.

3. Place tart shell on a parchment lined baking sheet and spread 1/4 cup of apricot jam on the bottom of tart shell, then pour in frangipane, smooth top with small off-set spatula. Arrange  plum wedges in a decorative concentric circles on top of frangipani. Bake tart until crust is golden brown and frangipane is puffed and slightly golden, about 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and set tart on cooling rack.

4. In a small saucepan, warm remaining 1/4 cup of apricot jam and brandy over low heat until mixture is combined and liquified. Strain mixture and brush top of warm tart with mixture. Serve warm or at room temperature.