Hey there! It’s been quite a while, hasn’t it?
I actually just got back from a summer as a counselor-in-training, but I’m very excited to get back into the swing of things and share some new content. I’ve just begun my last week of summer break, so I’ll be baking a LOT over the next few days before the crazy starts.
I cannot believe it’s already September. I mean, where did the summer go? I feel like it disappeared into thin air and that before I know it I’ll start seeing pumpkins and fallen leaves EVERYWHERE. Oh, and 60 degree weather. And sweaters, lots of sweaters. It’s not that I don’t like fall; I actually love the cool air and the apple cider and everything. I guess I’m just in denial of the fact that I’m about to head into my junior year of high school…
BUT, since it’s still warm out, I’m still on vacation and there’s still no homework, I’m fully prepared to live it up and have some fun in these last days of summer.
So on that note, today I’m sharing this recipe that hails from one of my all-time favorite cookbooks, Bouchon Bakery. It’s a simple plum tart made magical with high quality produce, an insanely yummy and buttery crust, and a lovely almond cream on the bottom. What I love about this tart is that it’s really just three simple components that come together to make something delicious.
Plum Tart with Almond Cream
Makes 1 8-inch tart
For the pâte sucrée:
- 375g (2 2/3 cups) all-purpose flour
- 46g (1/4 cup + 2 1/2 tablespoons) plus 94g (3/4 cup +1 tablespoon) powdered sugar
- 47g (1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons) almond flour
- 225g (8 oz. or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 56g (3 1/2 tablespoons) eggs
For the almond cream:
- 73g (1/2 cup + 2 1/2 tablespoons) almond flour
- 7g (2 1/4 teaspoons) all-purpose flour
- 73g (2.5 oz.) unsalted butter
- 73g (1/2 cup +2 tablespoons) powdered sugar
- 44g (2 tablespoons +2 teaspoons) eggs
For the tart:
8-10 small or 4-5 medium Santa Rosa plums or pluots (1 1/2-2 inches in diameter)
First, prepare the pâte sucrée:
NOTE: This recipe makes double the amount of dough you’ll need. If you’re weighing your ingredients, feel free to halve it as I did. If you’re using measuring cups/spoons, it may be tricky to half this recipe as the measurements get kind of wonky.)
- Place the all-purpose flour in a medium bowl, then sift in the 46g (1/4 cup + 2 1/2 tablespoons) powdered sugar and the almond flour. If there are any lumps left in the sieve, break them up before adding to the mixture and whisking to combine.
- Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mixing on medium-low speed until the butter is the same consistency as mayonnaise. It should hold a peak when the paddle is lifted. If needed, you can briefly warm the bowl over the stove top. Sift in the remaining powdered sugar and pulse the mixer to combine. Increase the speed to medium-low and mix until fluffy, about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl, then scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean and stir them into the butter.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter in 2 additions, mixing for 15-30 seconds after each. Scrape the bowl, then add the eggs and mix on low until just combined.
- Transfer the dough to a work surface and use the heal of your hand to smear it across the surface, working it together and folding it over onto itself until it is very smooth. Divide the dough in half (if making the full recipe) and form each half into a 4″ by 6″ rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours (or overnight).
- When you’re ready to roll out the dough, line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat and place a lightly greased 8″ by 3/4″ tart ring in the center. Unwrap one piece of dough and place it between two sheets of parchment. Pound the dough with a rolling pin, working from one side to the other. Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat. Roll out the dough from the center outward until it becomes big enough to fit the tart ring. Then, remove the top piece of parchment and invert the dough onto the tart ring carefully. Running your hands over the parchment, smooth the dough and gently press it into the corners and sides. Remove the parchment, patch up any cracked areas, and fold the excess dough over the sides. Run your rolling pin over the edges of the ring and remove the excess dough. Freeze for 30 minutes before continuing.
For the almond cream:
- Sift the almond flour into a medium bowl, breaking any lumps lefts in the sieve and adding them to the bowl as well. Whisk in the all-purpose flour.
- Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mixing on medium-low speed until the butter is the same consistency as mayonnaise. It should hold a peak when the paddle is lifted. If needed, you can briefly warm the bowl over the stove top. Sift in the powdered sugar on the lowest speed, then increase to low and mix until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl, then add in the flour mixture in 2 additions, mixing on low for 15-30 seconds after each one. Scrape the bowl again.
- Add in the eggs and mix on low speed until smooth. Transfer to a container with a lid. Press plastic wrap against the surface of the cream, then place the lid on top and refrigerate until cold about 2 hours.
To assemble the tart:
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Spread 1 1/4 cups of the almond cream into the bottom of the tart shell. Set aside.
- Slice the plums into 1/8 inch thick wedges and start by arranging a ring of them around the edge of the tart shell. They should face the same direction and overlap a fair amount. Then, make a second ring that overlaps the first. Fill the middle with the remaining slices. Make sure the slices are arranged compactly, as they will shrink as they bake.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until the crust is well browned, the filling is set and the plums are soft and juicy. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- When you’re ready to serve, run a knife in between the tart ring and the crust, then carefully lift off the ring. Enjoy!