Recipes | Plum and Frangipane Tart


Plum and Frangipane Tart

If you feel like baking this weekend here's a recipe from Christine McFadden's massively useful book Flour, a guide to how to use all the many new flours on the market.

I particularly like the fact that it's billed as an ingredient book rather than a gluten-free book which emphasises the fact it's about taste and texture rather than any particularly dietary regime.

This recipe is made from pea flour. Christine writes:

"Yellow pea flour makes the most beautiful melt-in-the-mouth pastry. It’s gluten-free and wonderful to work with. Crimson plums set off the rich yellow colour. The idea for the filling came from my food writer friend Lesley Mackley, who does a lovely version with pears instead of plums.

Serves 6–8

vegetable oil for greasing

6 ripe red plums

caster sugar for sprinkling

4 tablespoons melted quince, redcurrant or apricot jelly, to glaze

for the pastry

160g (5¾oz) yellow pea flour

2 tablespoons icing sugar

100g (3½oz) cold unsalted butter, roughly chopped

1½ tablespoons thick plain yogurt

1½ tablespoons beaten egg

for the frangipane

75g (2¾oz) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

125g (4½oz) caster sugar

1 large egg, organic or free range

1 large egg yolk, organic or free-range

1 tablespoon brandy or amaretto liqueur (optional)

125g (4½oz) ground almonds

First make the pastry. Sift the pea flour and icing sugar then tip into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and pulse briefly until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add the yogurt and egg, then pulse in short bursts until the mixture begins to clump. Be careful not to overwork the dough.

Tip the dough on to a well-floured surface. Roll into a ball, then flatten into a 12cm (4½in) disc, ready for rolling out. Wrap in greaseproof paper and chill for 30 minutes.

For the frangipane, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric whisk for a few minutes until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the whole egg, followed by the yolk.

Finally add the brandy, if you’re using it, and the ground almonds. Mix well to combine, then set aside.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Put a baking tray in to heat. Grease the base and sides of a 24.5x2.5cm (9¾x1in) fluted metal tart tin, making sure the sides are well lubricated. Line the base with a circle of baking parchment and grease the paper too.

Once the dough is chilled, remove from the fridge. Dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll out the pastry to a thin 30cm (12in) circle. Carefully drape it over your rolling pin and lower it into the tin. Press the side of your index finger into the edge to even out the thickness. Trim the top with a small sharp knife. Spoon the frangipane into the pastry case, smoothing the surface with a spatula.

Slice the plums in half lengthways and remove the stone. Slice each half lengthways into four segments. Starting from the outer edge of the tart, arrange a double row of overlapping segments in four north-south-east-west ‘spokes’, leaving a quadrant of uncovered frangipane between each spoke. Make an attractive rosette of slices where the spokes meet. Sprinkle the plums with caster sugar.

Bake for 35–40 minutes, rotating the tin halfway through. Cover the edges with foil if they brown too much. Remove from the oven and leave to settle in the tin for 20 minutes.

Carefully ease the tart out of the tin and slide on to a serving plate. Brush with the melted jelly and serve warm or at room temperature.

What to drink: a simple fruit tart like this is a good foil for a wide variety of dessert wines. I'd go for a sweet Bordeaux like Sauternes or a similar one from one of the neighbouring appellations - Monbazillac is particularly good value.

Extract taken from Flour by Christine McFadden (Absolute Press, £26) out now

Photography © Mike Cooper

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