plum + almond tart
Sweet, tart plums and toasted almonds are enveloped in a rich, buttery crust in this take on a summer classic. I can see this as the perfect end to a grill night or summer picnic. This recipe makes a smaller tart (serves 2 – 4), so make sure to make multiple if you are hosting a party.
for the pastry crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice water
for the filling:
6 small plums (I used a mixture of mirabelles and santa rosas)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 of a vanilla bean
confectioner’s sugar, for serving
First, prepare the pastry crust: in a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the cold butter pieces, and using your hands or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles very coarse meal (there should be larger and smaller of pieces of butter incorporated throughout). Add the ice water and mix until the mixture just begins to form a dough, being careful not to over mix). Form the dough into a thin disc and wrap in a piece of plastic wrap, again being careful not to overwork the dough. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least an hour.
Once dough has chilled, transfer to a work surface that is lightly dusted with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a circle that is about 1/8 of an inch in thickness. Drape rolled dough into a 6″ pie pan, with a removable bottom, and 1 1/2 – 2 inch deep sides. Without stretching the dough, press it into the pan so that it completely covers the bottom and sides. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the pan to trim the scraps (the dough should just come to the top of the walls of the pan). Cover pan and dough with plastic wrap and transfer to the freezer to chill as you prepare the filling.
While dough is chilling in the freezer, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and prepare the filling: halve the plums by cutting in a circular motion around their pits (like you would an avocado) and twist. Remove pits and discard. Set halved and pitted plums aside.
Split the 1/2 vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into a small bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the sugar, and using your hands, work the seeds into the sugar until completely incorporated. Meanwhile, add slivered almonds to a small sauté pan over medium-low heat. Toast, shaking pan occasionally, until almonds are fragrant and lightly brown. Remove 1 tablespoon of the almonds and set aside for garnish. Add the remaining almonds and vanilla sugar mixture to a mortar and pestle and grind into a coarse meal (you can also use a food processor for this step, but I like the rustic consistency that a mortar and pestle provides).
Remove the chilled dough from the freezer (it should be super cold and firm at this point, if not allow it chill a bit longer). Sprinkle the almond and sugar mixture over the bottom and arrange the plum halves over top of the sugar, cut sides down. Sprinkle with reserved 1 tablespoon of toasted almonds and the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar.
Place tart on top of a small baking pan (with raised sides) to catch any juices that may leak while baking, and transfer to the preheated oven. Bake until crust is golden and tops of plums are lightly browned, 40-45 minutes.
Remove tart from oven and allow to cool in pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes (this step is important, as the tart would be a watery mess if cut into before having a chance to cool). After the tart has cooled, carefully remove the sides of the pan and transfer to a serving platter. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and cut into wedges to serve.
serves 2 – 4