Sunday, 13 January 2013

Plum and Vanilla Frangipane

 Yesterday I was in the mood for making dessert. Not just some vaguely sweet cookies or some other dessert imposter, but a proper, 'meal after dinner' dessert. Now, normally this would be nothing out of the ordinary, but lately I've been baking a little less. Why? Well, at Christmas time, my whole family seems to just automatically go into sweet thing hoarding mode. The cupboards fill with presents from friends and family, home baked Christmas treats and just-in-case presents on a scale that could only ever be required if an entire army spontaneously popped over for tea.

And of course it's all very nice and delicious at christmas, and in the whole 'holiday period' even, but there is only a certain amount of pannetone that any one family can (and should) consume in a few weeks, and our supply far surpasses that. So we've entered a period of fasting, not from eating this glut of sweet treats, but from making any more, which I'm finding extremely difficult.

Getting back to yesterday, I was just doing absolutely nothing in the way that is only acceptable in the summer when I suddenly remembered that huge box of plums and all the plans I'd made for them. Now, plums are hard to use up in savoury foods, so you can't really blame me for jumping straight to dessert, can you? So I turned to pinterest for some plum dessert inspiration and aha! There it was. The perfect thing, a sweet, almondy plum and vanilla frangipane. A recipe that was simple yet impressive and just the thing to break my fast with.

The tartness of the plums perfectly compliments the sweetness of the frangipane, and the vanilla-ey pastry would be great with any dessert. I had a little extra of the pastry, so I whipped up a quick 'galette', for my sister who dislikes almonds, with some more plum and some of this fabulous jam, which would be a perfectly good dessert of it's own right if you're short of time. However, if you've got just an hour to spare I would strongly urge you to make the whole tart, you won't regret it!

Mia x

Plum and Vanilla Frangipane Tart

1 cup whole almonds
1/3 cup brown sugar
70gms unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp almond extract
Pinch of salt
8-10 small ripe plums, each sliced into 6 sections
1/4 cup slivered almonds

150gms plain flour
50gms oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
1/8 tsp salt
100gm unsalted butter, chilled, diced
1/2 vanilla bean scraped
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg

  1. To make the pastry, whiz the plain flour, oats, sugar, salt, baking powder and scraped vanilla bean in the processor until combined.
  2. Add the chilled butter and process briefly until you get a crumb like mix, then add the vanilla extract and egg and briefly pulse till it begins to come together.
  3. Turn onto work surface and pat together into a ball, handling the dough as little as possible. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes to help the dough relax.
  4. Meanwhile, Preheat the oven to 180C. In the meantime, make the frangipane by Processing the whole almonds, brown sugar, flour and salt in the processor until the almonds are pulverised.
  5. Add the butter,egg, vanilla bean and almond extract and blend until smooth. The frangipane is ready, and can be stored in a zipbag overnight in the refrigerator if desired.
  6. Roll out the dough and line the tart pan. Patch any broken bits with leftover dough.
  7. Bake blind {line the unbaked shell with aluminum foil or baking paper and place bean/pie weights on top} for 8 minutes. Remove weights and foil and continue to bake for a further 5 minutes. Make sure it doesn’t over brown.
  8. Turn the frangipane into the baked crust {I turned it into the hot shell and it turned out fine} and spread uniformly with an offset spatula.
  9. Arrange plum slices over the top, sprinkle with slivered almonds and bake for 30 minutes, until the frangipane is fluffy looking and firm to touch.

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Why hello there! If you liked or disliked this post or just want to say 'hi', feel free to leave a comment. I love getting comments- it's nice to know that someone out there is actually reading what I have to say, and they're really motivating!
Mia xo

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