plums in crème d’amande

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Plum season has started. As soon as I spotted plums in my trusted food store and recipes for any kind of plum cake affairs started appearing on Instagram I defined that it’s time to create something w/ plums.

I admit that I’m not a fan of eating plums fresh from the garden. They seems somewhat dry and sour … Plums are definitely predestined to get baked or cooked. Only after these processes they develop their full flavor, get juicy – just gorgeous. So I always try to do some cake or jam w/ plums when plums flood the market.

This time I got really big plums …

I happened to roam one of my cookbooks – more precisely a baking book about Tartes & Quiches by Delphine de Montalier. There’s a recipe for a tart with crème d’amande resp. ricotta crème & fruit (once strawberries, once plums). I decided to give it a try w/ plums i. e. I worked on both recipes & created 2 plum cakes – one after the other.

So now we are dealing w/ a tart filled w/ crème d’amande and topped w/ plums. Instead of using my round tart form I picked my rectangular tart form w/ loose bottom. I imagined that I could cut the cake into nicely squares …

Crème d’amande? It’s also called frangipane sometimes although the original frangipane is made w/ marzipan – as I learnt. Whatever: I stuck to the recipe in my baking book for an original crème d’amande.

So what do we need for the pastry shell?

  • all-purpose flour
  • icing sugar
  • vanilla sugar
  • butter
  • an egg
  • a pinch of salt.

I rolled up my sleeves & started kneading until all seemed well incorporated. The result, a ball of tart pastry, marched into my fridge (fresh section of somewhat more than 0° C …) for about 30 min.

Afterwards I rolled out the pastry between 2 sheets of cling foil. (You may also use baking paper.) To be honest: it’s much easier for rolling the pastry w/ your rolling pin & transfer the pastry to the tart form.

Nevertheless it was a little mess because the pastry is rather soft & tries to escape when fitting the pastry into the tart form.

For the record:
It’s much easier to use a round tart form … as I learnt during my 2nd plum cake affair.

I didn’t do any pre-baking of the pastry shell. My baking book recommend it, but this time I did without … mainly because I was a little short in time. The result was fine even w/o pre-baking: the tart shell was crumbly, however, softly melting into the crème d’amande (or vice versa).

In the meantime when the pastry is chilling in the fridge there’s enough time to deal w/ the plums.

I started w/ about 500 g of plums: the plums are cleaned & trimmed & pitted. At the end it was more than enough to fill my tart.

Next step is to create the crème d’amande. I stuck to the recipe in my baking book & worked with:

  • butter
  • fine sugar
  • eggs
  • ground almonds.

Whip the butter & the sugar w/ your handheld electric mixer. Add the eggs … add the ground almonds … You’ll get a nice creamy mess which I distributed all over the pastry shell.

It is a rather thick layer of crème d’amande: maybe reduce butter, sugar & almonds by 25% if you like a thinner layer!

My ground almonds turned out to be rather roughly grounded: so there was some sort of additional crunch in my tart.

It’s necessary to preheat the oven to 160° C fan. Don’t forget to start the oven sometime when dealing w/ the crème d’amande resp. starting to roll-out the pastry.

On top of the crème d’amande there are the plums. I mentioned beforehand that I had big plums … so only 21 halves fitted into my form.

About 40 min later the nicely brown tart emerged from the oven.

Sprinkle some sugar all over the tart – at once. (You may also mix the sugar w/ some cinnamon – I didn’t because my better half isn’t fond of cinnamon.)

Just let the tart rest until cooled down to room temperature. Then remove carefully the tart form.

Now the plums are really juicy & all is soaking into the crème d’amande.

It is a rich tart because of the rather thick layer of crème d’amande. So cut it into 7 pieces along to the 7 rows of plums. Afterwards at least cut each piece into halves (or even into 3 pieces). You get nice small pieces to go w/ espresso or as dessert. (The tart even gets better – my opinion – when stored in the fridge!)

Enjoy!

plums in crème d’amande
Prep Time50 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Servings: 21 small pieces
ingredients:
for the pastry shell:
  • 170 g all-purpose flour
  • 40 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 115 g butter
  • 1 egg
for the filling:
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 100 g butter
  • 100 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 500 g plums
finally (after the oven session):
  • 1-2 tbsp fine sugar
equipment:
  • tart form w/ loose bottom (35 x 11 cm)
  • handheld electric mixer
how to:
  • Mix flour, icing sugar, vanilla sugar & salt.
  • Add butter & egg; knead until well incorporated. Form a ball & chill in your fridge for about 30 min.
  • Clean & trim the plums; cut into halves & discard the pits.
  • W/ your handheld electric mixer whisk butter & sugar, add eggs & finally the ground almonds.
  • Preheat the oven to 160° C fan.
  • Roll out the pastry between 2 sheets of clingfoil (or baking parchment); transfer to the tart form & fit in. (Discard the cling foil.)
  • Add the almond mess.
  • Add the plums.
  • Bake in the oven for about 40 min.
  • Sprinkle the sugar all over the tart.
  • Let the tart cool down to room temperature before removing the tart form.
Notes
Prep Time: includes 30 min of chilling the pastry in the fridge.
Servings: It’s a rich tart. You may cut the tart into 7 large pieces, however, I’d like to recommend to cut it at least into 14 pieces – maybe even better into 21 pieces.
Store the tart in your fridge.
You can freeze the tart; defrost slowly at room temperature.

(information on equipment)

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