Plum & Pluot Tart

A couple week’s ago my friend Michael and I spent an hour at the San Francisco Ferry Building trying samples of plums, apples and pluots. Our goal was to get some nutrition before going inside to eat a double-carb Potato and Pesto Sandwich from Acme Bread. It was a refreshing deal considering how expensive travel in the Bay can be! I left the market feeling healthier and with a new-found love for plums. I don’t remember eating many plums as a child in Florida – perhaps there was too much citrus around to notice anything else. If you havent eaten a pluot yet they are the delicious combination of an apricot and a plum…and don’t feel guilty, they have only been sold since 1989 (that seems pretty young for fruit!).

I made this Plum and Pluot Tart for my mother’s Yardbird friends last week. I cheated (and confessed to them!) by using frozen pastry from January! I made the pate sucree recipe for my Lemon Chocolate Tart in January and froze half to save. Not sure how they felt about my nearly year-old crust but if I hadn’t fessed up, they wouldn’t have ever noticed. I defrosted the dough overnight in the fridge and baked it at lunchtime the day of the party. After work, I quickly made the filling and topped it with ripe plums and pluots. Next time I’ll add even more fruit. This project required a bit of extra effort but it was a wonderful addition to the evening.

I suggest giving it a try will you can get your hands on California plums and pluots!

Plum and Pluot Tart

For the pâte sucrée (makes enough for two crusts):

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 extra-large egg yolks
  • 2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter

1. Whisk the cream and egg yolks together in a small bowl.

2. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and butter on medium speed until you have a coarse meal. Gradually add the cream and yolks and mix until just combined. Do not overwork the dough.

3. Transfer the dough to a large work surface and bring it together with your hands to incorporate completely. Divide the dough in half, shape into 1-inch-thick discs, and wrap one of them to freeze and use later.

4. If the dough is too soft, put in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes to firm up a little. If the dough is manageable, place it on a lightly floured work surface, sprinkle a little flour over the dough, and roll it out into a 1-inch-thick circle, flouring as necessary. Starting at one side, roll and wrap the dough around the rolling pin to pick it up. Unroll the dough over a 10-inch tart pan. Gently fit the dough loosely into the pan, lifting the edges and pressing the dough into the corners with your fingers. To remove the excess dough, roll the rolling pin lightly over the top of the tart pan for a nice clean edge, or work your way around the edge pinching off any excess dough with your fingers. Chill for 1 hour.

5. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

6. Take the tart pan with the pâte sucrée from the refrigerator. Prick the bottom with a fork and line it with a few opened and fanned-out coffee filters or a piece of parchment paper. Fill the lined tart shell with beans or pie weights and bake 15 minutes, until set. Take the tart out of the oven and carefully lift out the paper and beans. Return the tart to the oven and bake another 10 to 15 minutes, until the crust is an even golden brown. Set aside on a rack to cool completely.

For the filling:

  • 1/3 cup whole almonds
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons rum
  • 4 or 5 ripe plums and pluots
  • 1/4 cup red currant jelly

Finely grind almonds with sugar in processor. Add egg, butter and 2 teaspoons rum. Process until batter forms. Pour filling into crust. Arrange plums and pluots atop filling. Bake until fruit is tender and filling is golden and set, about 50 minutes. Melt jelly with remaining 2 teaspoons rum in heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat. Brush jelly mixture over plums. Cool tart and enjoy!

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