Plum and Almond Tart

Frangipane tarts studded with fresh fruit always look so alluring. The frangipane in this tart is moist and the fruits can be varied according to what’s in season. In the summer, peaches, raspberries, nectarines, cherries and blueberries offer alternatives to the plums suggested here. If I’m using raspberries or blueberries, I use much less fruit as they ooze so much more juice. About 200g raspberries placed around the tart, for instance, works very well. 

To make the pastry

Place the flour, butter and icing sugar in a food processor and mix until fine. With the machine running, pour in about three-quarters of the beaten egg. Open the lid of the food processor and feel the pastry. If you think that it’s moist enough to come together, pulse for another few seconds and turn out onto your countertop. The pastry should be neither too firm nor too soft. If you happen to have any beaten egg left over, reserve it for later. Bring the pastry together quickly with your hands so that the surface is smooth. Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the fridge for about an hour.

If making the pastry by hand, put the flour and butter in a bowl. Chop the butter finely with a knife, then using the tips of your fingers, rub the butter lightly into the flour. Bind with just enough beaten egg to make the pastry come together. Refrigerate as above.

Preheat the oven to 200°C, 180°C Fan, 400°F, Gas 6.

Roll out the pastry and line the quiche tin. Place a sheet of greaseproof or bakewell paper over the pastry and fill with dried pulses. Bake the pastry in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until it’s just beginning to go golden around the edges. Very carefully remove the dried pulses and the greaseproof paper. Lower the oven temperature to 180°C, 160°C Fan, 350°F, Gas 4. Brush the pastry base with a little beaten egg and return to the oven for a further 5–10 minutes, until the tart base looks crisp. Warm the jam slightly and paint it on the base of the tart.

To make the filling

Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs together and add gradually, mixing well between each addition. Add the ground almonds and lemon zest and fold into the mixture. Spread the filling evenly over the tart base.

Split the plums in half and remove the stones. Slice the plums and arrange them around the tart, slightly overlapping each slice. Return the tart to the oven and bake for 30–40 minutes. When ready, the top should be a light golden colour and the filling should be slightly springy to the touch.

Dust the tart with icing sugar just before serving. Serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche.