A few weeks ago, I was surprised to find some plums nestling in my weekly veg box. I associate plums with late summer and early autumn so I am not entirely sure of their origin. They were not particularly good on their own, so I decided to incorporate them into some sort of pudding. As luck would have it, I had a block of puff pastry sitting in the freezer and a pack of ground almonds in the cupboard. I was moments away from the gloriousness that is frangipane heaven.
I do know of people who don't enjoy almondy frangipane, saying that it reminds them of marzipan. This is impossible for me to understand as I adore marzipan so its likeness can only be a good thing in my book.
I was pretty pleased with how this turned out - it tasted wonderful. The gooey almond sponge was the perfect foil for my less than perfect plums. In fact, the plums were pretty good once they'd spent time in the oven. My only problem was that I got a little heavy-handed with the frangipane mixture and used far too much in relation to the number of plums I had. As you will see from the photos, the plums got rather lost within the filling. Next time, I'll hold back my urge to add more frangipane and try adding a little more fruit...
By the way, this basic recipe would work a treat with lots of different fruits. Preferably ones that are in season! I love frangipane with pears and apples in particular. Apricots would also work well if you like them (I don't).
Plum and frangipane tart
Serves 3-4 (easily doubled for 6-8!)
Half a block of puff pastry (yes, I used the chilled ready-made stuff. If you wish to make your own then please be my guest...!)
75g caster sugar
75g ground almonds
50g plain flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten with a fork
A little demarara sugar
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Make the frangipane by creaming the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour and ground almonds and beat together briefly before mixing in the beaten egg.
2. Roll out the pastry into whatever shape takes your fancy. I was feeling in the mood for a rectangle, as you can see. Call me unimaginative, why not... Anyway, you want the pastry about the thickness of a one pound coin.
3. Score a line with a knife around half and inch in from the side. Prick pastry base lightly with a fork.
4. Spread the frangipane lightly over the base, keeping it within the scored lines (you want the outside to rise up, encasing the filling). Don't spread it as thickly as I did!
5. Next, get your plums ready. Get rid of the stones and then slice them. Or quarter them, if you prefer. I think mine were a little thin. Arrange them on top of the frangipane so they look pretty and then sprinkle with a little demarara sugar.
6. Pop the tart in the oven and bake for around 20-25 minutes until the frangipane has risen around the fruit and all is looking pleasingly golden. Eat warm (or cold). Probably with some cream.