Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Almond Frangipane & Pluot Tart

Pluots are in season where I live! I am not a huge fan of plums or apricots but the marriage of the two in the form of pluots are one of my favorite fruits, particularly the flavor king variety. (*´∀`*)  We normally just enjoy them fresh since the season is pretty short, but as I literally bought about 10 pounds of the fruit at the farmer's market last week, I had a few to spare to try and experiment with baking wise.  That, and I finally got a proper tart pan.  Since I decided to make the tart at the last minute (and wasn't sure if it would turn out well), I didn't take pictures of all the steps and the lighting was just from my kitchen so they aren't the greatest.  But trust me, the tart is amazing!  It's the first time I've been absolutely happy with the results taste wise (I would be happier if I had taken more care with making the tart edges prettier, but eh...oh well).  The crust was buttery and flakey, the pluots with the berry jelly glaze had a nice balance of sweetness with just a touch of tartness, both of which went lovely with the whipped cream and nutty almond frangipane.

I hope to try with other fruits in the future once pluot season is over - perhaps nectarines, apples, or pears with an apricot jam glaze?) and of course you could always use plums like the original recipe.

Almond Frangipane & Pluot Tart

Makes a 9" tart


For tart shell
- 90g all-purpose flour 
- 40g whole wheat pastry flour (can use all AP flour or all pastry flour if you want)
- 1 TB sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 113g European-style unsalted butter cut into 1/2" dice, cold
- 2 TB ice water
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling
- 40g almond meal
- 65g sugar
- 1 large egg
- 43g European-style unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 tsp Domaine de Canton (ginger liqueur) or framboise (raspberry liqueur) or brandy
- 2 to 3 pluots (I only needed 2)

For the glaze
- 2 tsp Domaine de Canton (ginger liqueur) or framboise (raspberry liqueur) or brandy
- 1/8 cup of a berry jelly (I used a homemade mixed boysenberry, raspberry & blackberry jelly; the original recipe used red currant jelly)

- whipped cream

Special Equipment
- 9" tart pan with removable bottom
- pastry brush

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Whisk together the flours, salt, and tablespoon of sugar.  Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or fork until mixture coarse meal.  Add the two tablespoons of water and the vanilla extract to the dough and continue blending with the pastry cutter until the dough comes together in large clumps.  Don't overwork it - it's ok if there are some slightly larger chunks of butter in it.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape it into a ball, then flatten it to a round disk.  Sprinkle additional flour on top and roll dough out into a 12" circle.  Transfer the dough to the tart pan and fold in excess overhang so that the sides are double the thickness of the bottom.  As you press the dough gently into the sides and bottom of the pan, make sure the dough along the sides hang just a little over the top edges of the pan all around to help with any slippage while baking.

Prick the bottom all over with a fork and freeze the tart shell for at least 15 minutes to harden before baking.  Bake in oven for 22-30 minutes until golden brown (convection oven with fan will be closer to lower 20 minute range).

Meanwhile, make the filling.  Combine all the ingredients for the filling until smooth.  Cut pluots in half and remove the pits.  Cut the halves into thin slices (about 1/8" to 1/4" thick).

Once the tart shell is done, remove from oven (do not turn oven off) and pour in the almond frangipane.  Arrange pluot slices in concentric circles, with each slice partially overlapping the previous slice.  Bake in the oven for about 40-50 minutes until the filling is golden brown and set (again if using a convection oven with fan it will be closer to 40 minutes).

When the tart is done, remove and let cool.  Prepare glaze by melting the jelly with the 2 teaspoons of liqueur in a small saucepan over medium low heat.  Use a pastry brush to carefully brush the plums with the jelly mixture.  Serve the tart at room temperature with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.

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