I don't think I've ever purchased plums in April, but I just couldn't wait any longer. I am so very ready to start baking like it's mid-summer! This did the trick.
The original recipe calls for a crust of puff pastry, but I substituted a short crust which I usually always do when puff pastry is used as the tart shell..
Leftovers were very good with morning cappuccinos!
• adapted from a Food & Wine recipe by Mitchelle Dy...
• 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
• 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
• 1 large egg
• Ice water, if needed
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
• 5 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
• 1/4 cup Chambord (I used Crème de Framboise)
• 5 ripe plums, halved, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
• 1/2 cup slivered almonds
• 1 1/2 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour
• 1 large egg
• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
• Toasted sliced almonds for sprinkling, optional
To make the crust:
1. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times to combine.
2. Toss in the cold butter and pulse until the size of small peas. Add the whole egg and pulse until the dough just begins to come together. If the mixture is too dry to hold together, add ice water little by little until dough is moistened enough to come together.
3. Place flour mixture on a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a disk. Wrap and place in refrigerator for at least an hour.
To make the filling:
1. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter with 3 tablespoons of the brown sugar over medium heat until ingredients are thoroughly melted and combined, about 1 minute. Add the Chambord or Crème de Framboise and bring to a simmer. Add the plums and cook, occasionally stirring gently until the edges begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the plums to a large shallow bowl to cool. Reserve the juice in the skillet.
2. In a food processor, grind the almonds until very fine. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Stir in the ground almonds and the 1 1/2 tablespoons flour. Add the egg and vanilla; stir until fully incorporated.
3. Dust a work surface with flour and roll the pastry to fit a 9-inch square tart pan or any other shape pan you would like to substitute. Fill the tart pan with the pastry and trim edges. Spread the almond mixture over the base of the pastry. Arrange the plums on the almond filling, adding any additional juices to those reserved in the skillet. Chill the tart in the refrigerator while preheating the oven to 375˚ F.
4. Bake the tart on the center rack of the oven for approximately 50 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Remove and let cool briefly. Rewarm the Chambord juices and brush the thick liquid over the plums. Sprinkle with toasted almonds. Serve warm or at room temperature.
TAKE a LOOK:
Yesterday evolved into a beautiful, unexpected evening. April has finally given us spring temperatures, and without menacing winds! It would have been easy to avoid the indoors with 70 degree warmth outdoors, but I had a carton of French Époisses in my refrigerator and that trumped any desire to enjoy the sunshine. I opened my kitchen windows and got to work.
This tart is an investment. The 8-ounce disk of ripe, stinky cheese sells for $18.00... and I love it! Its taste just screams French -- make no substitutions, The cheese is special enough to plan a dinner around, with neighbors, which is exactly what I did. My husband uncovered the outdoor dining table, brought the chairs out of storage, and uncorked bottles of French wine. The evening ended up being beyond special... hopefully the beginning of a long al fresco season!
The recipe for this French savory tart is from Ludo Lefebvre of Petit Trois in L.A. I am now wishing we would have made the drive into Los Angeles to dine there when less than an hour out in February... I think at that point I had had it with traffic. I will keep Petit Trois on my "need to do" list.
• Époisses, Ham and Apple Tart... FOOD & WINE MAGAZINE
• 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
• 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) cold butter, cubed
• 1 large egg yolk
• 1/4 cup ice cold water
• One 8-ounce wheel of chilled Époisses, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (with rind)
• 1 sweet cooking apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
• 1/4 pound piece of Parisian-style or boiled ham, cut into 1/3-inch dice
• 2 large eggs
• 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
• Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1. Make the Pastry In a food processor, pulse the 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour with the kosher salt. Add the cubed butter and pulse until it is the size of small peas. Add the egg yolk and cold water and pulse until the pastry is moistened. Turn the pastry out onto a lightly floured work surface, gather any crumbs and pat into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.
2. Make the Pastry Preheat the oven to 375°. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 13-inch round. Ease the pastry into an 11-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom, pressing it into the corners and up the side. Trim the pastry 1/4 inch above the rim of the tart pan and use the excess to patch any holes or thin parts. Refrigerate the tart shell until chilled, about 15 minutes.
3. Make the Pastry Line the tart shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the shell for about 30 minutes, just until dry. Remove the parchment and weights and bake the crust for about 15 minutes longer, until golden. Let cool slightly, then transfer the tart pan to a large baking sheet.
4. Make the Filling Scatter the Époisses, apple and ham evenly in the tart shell. In a bowl, beat the eggs with the heavy cream, salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Pour the custard into the tart shell and bake for about 45 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through baking, until the custard is just set and lightly browned on top. Transfer the tart to a rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Remove the ring, cut the tart into wedges and serve.
MAKE AHEAD The tart can be refrigerated overnight. Let come to room temperature before serving.
TAKE a LOOK:
I've made this salad twice in the past week. It's loaded with citrus that I crave this time of year, plus two of my favorite things... salmon and avocados.
And I serve the salad with another favorite of mine... Pain aux Olives. I try to keep these olive rolls in my freezer at all times. I keep containers of olives in my refrigerator, just in case I run out of the rolls and needs to bake more.
And in case you're wondering why I haven't been posting as often... it's all because of little Bisous, below. He's been keeping me very busy, which is just the way I like it.