Thursday, July 11, 2019

Plum Crumble Tart with Super Natural Organic Plum

We have a big old plum tree in our small backyard. Every year the tree gets a lot of sweet dark red plums (called Santa Rosa), with no tending/any work required, either given water. That is why I call it our “super natural organic plum tree.” (perhaps it is only California) 

This year is exceptionally great year that I have seen it only once every few years since I moved to this place 18 years ago, but probably the best one ever I had. I harvested almost three 5-gallon buckets in last 10 days, plus a lot of plums have fallen to the ground and  need to be discarded. This is a very sad story but my garden enemy, squirrels and I have been a bit overwhelming this year's abundance. I have learned that my backyard birds don’t care about it, either racoons (but the truth is I haven’t seen them eating.).  

I have given plums to my neighbors, friends, and made a lot of jam but plums are still all over my kitchen table, inside refrigerator and yet quite few plums on the tree.  So my backyard and kitchen are filled smell of plums at moments. I am now worried that they are rall ready tofall off very soon. Only last thing I can think about it is making “plum wine” which I have never tried it but I have a bit of temptation to do it.

I normally enjoy my plums just eating fresh fruit, baking simple tart or pie with using almond cream or paste as the base (the are very juicy). However I found this recipe online  and looks very nice  (Bruno Ablouz, at his great baking recipe collection site ( . He also has good instruction video for each recipe which is very professional and fun.). So I made it and it came out perfect for my great Super natural organic plums. 

Plum Crumble Tart
Recipe adapted by by Bruno Ablouze

Makes one 7.5x 2-inch or 10x 1 -inch Tart Pan with removable bottom
Yield 6-8 servings
The plum crumble tart can be refrigerated for a couple of days. This pie should be eaten at room temperature.

For the Tart:
One 10 ounces (300g) Sweet Pastry Crust/ Pate Sucée*
A few slices brioche, challah or bread crumbs
2 cups Almond Crumbles**
A few slices brioche, challah or bread crumbs (optional)
2 pounds (900g) pitted red plum (also nectarine and peach as well)
2 ounces (60g) brown or granulated sugar ( lower the amount of sugar by half if using nectarine or peach)Garnish (optional)

Powdered sugar and fresh currents (optional)

*Sweet Pastry Shells (Yields 2 tart shells):
5 ounces (150g) unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
3 ounces (90g) powdered sugar or ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large egg, at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (280g)  all-purpose flour

Place the SOFTENED butter and salt in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl if whisking by hand and cream until completely smooth. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and continue beating until homogenized. Mix in half of the the flour until just incorporated and add remaining flour and mix just until it forms a ball. 
Flatten the pastry into a square, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour or until firm (can be placed in freezer for about 30 minutes). The dough must be completely chilled before being used. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 days or freeze for a month.

**Almond Crumble:
2 ounces (60g) whole almond
5 ounces (150g) almond paste***
½ cup (60g) all-purpose flour
2 ounces (56g) butter, cubed, chilled
Zest of one whole lemon

Almond paste is made from 50% equal proportion of almonds and sugar.
Marzipan has a higher ratio of sugar (up to 75% sugar) plus other ingredients. The larger proportion of sugar makes the marzipan cheaper, smoother and easier to roll out. Marzipan is only used for covering cakes and making edible models.

***Almond Paste: 
 Makes about 1¼ cup (about 250 grams)

1 cup (100g) blanched almonds
1 ½ cup (100g) confectioners’ sugar
1 egg white
1 teaspoon almond extract
A pinch of salt

In the bowl of food processor, process the almonds to fine ground about 1  minutes.
Add the sugar, egg white, almond extract and salt, process until smooth paste about 2 minutes.

Remove the paste onto a surface of board dusted with confectiones’s sugar and form into a log shape. Wrap the log in a plastic and refrigerate it until firm. It can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week.

To assemble the tart
Placet the rack in the center and preheat the over to 375°F (200°C).

The original recipe does not state prebaked the tart shell however I recommend it to do so lightly to be dried the shell (about 15 minute with pie weight and another 5 minutes without weight.)

Spread 1½ cups almond crumbles  on the tart. Lay slice breads if using. Sprit the plums and and remove the pits. Arrange plums nicely over the bread.
Sprinkle brown sugar and then the rest of almond crumble ot the top of fruit.
Place the tart in the oven and bake about 45 minutes.

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