Summer is in full swing and our trees are absolutely laden with fruit. In particular, plums.

We’ve eaten them fresh, made heaps of jam, stewed them with spices, we’ve even made ice cream, and yet, the plums persist.

So in an effort to polish off some more persistent plums we thought our guests would enjoy a fruit tart for pudding.

Tarts and pies can be daunting if you’re uncomfortable making shortcrust pastry but fear not, with these tips you’ll be whipping up a plum pudding in no time.

Cool as a Cucumber

Keep your pastry ingredients as cold as possible. You might like to put your butter cubes in the freezer for 5 minutes before making your crust.

Extra Crispy Crust

Put a baking tray in the oven when you preheat. Having a hot baking tray helps the pastry case cook more evenly and produces a delightfully crispy crust.

No Soggy Bottom

Sprinkle ground almonds in the bottom of your baked tart crust. The almonds adsorb any fruit juices and thus avoid a soggy bottom.

Frangipane Fruit Tart

For the Crust

170 g all-purpose flour

85 g unsalted butter

1 tsp caster sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg yolk

Ice cold water to bind. Start with 1 tsp at a time.

24 cm tart tin with removable base

For the Filling

500 g fresh fruit

1 egg, beaten

60 g caster sugar

1 tbsp all-purpose flour

4 tbsp ground almonds

120 ml heavy cream

1/2 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

Put the four, sugar, and salt in a food processor and aerate with a couple of quick pulses. Add the butter and process till the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the yolk and process until the pastry just draws together, add water if necessary. Turn it out on to a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly to form a flat round.

If you don’t have a food processor, do the whole thing as lightly as possible using your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour and, when you add the liquid, pinching the whole thing into a dough.

Roll the pastry and line the tin with the pastry lifted into place on the rolling pin, trim the edges with a generous hand as the pastry might shrink, and put into the refrigerator to rest for a least an hour.

Put a baking tray in the oven and heat to 190 C. Line the chilled pastry case with baking parchment, fill with baking beans and cook for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the beans and paper and cook for another 10 minuets or a little longer, until a light biscuit brown.

Reduce the oven heat to 180 C. Whisk the egg, sugar, four, and almonds together, then stir in the cream and flavourings. Sprinkle the other 2 tbsp of ground almonds over the base of the pastry case. Arrange the fruit in a single layer in the pastry case and pour over the almond-cream filling. Put the tart into the oven on to the hot baking tray and bake until the filling has nicely coloured and set, about 45 minutes.

Cool before serving, with a generous spoonful of whipped mascarpone cream.

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